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Moon Landing Anniversary: How to Watch the Apollo 11 Mission in Real Time, 50 Years Later

On July 16 of 1969, the Apollo 11 mission launched to send the first man to the moon. 50 years later, the historic mission is being celebrated in a number of ways — including a few high-tech recreations that make it possible to follow it in real-time, 50 years after the fact.

When to watch: Depending on your time zone, you may have to get up early. The Apollo 11 mission began with the liftoff of the Saturn V rocket on 7/16 at 9:32am EST. Separation from the rocket happened on the same day at 12:42pm EST. The moon landing itself followed on 7/20 at 4pm EST, and those historic first steps on the moon surface were taken on the same day at 10:34pm EST.

The Apollo 11 crew departed from the moon on 7/21 at 1:49pm EST, and arrived back on earth on 7/24 at 12:30pm EST.

Where to watch:

USA Today’s and Florida Today’s 321 Launch app uses augmented reality (AR) to bring the launch of the Saturn V rocket, and the entire subsequent mission, to your living room. The app is available for free for iOS and Android. The launch of the mission, and this week’s live AR broadcast, will also be celebrated with a day-long event at the Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library’s Moonshot AR app takes a very similar approach, and recreates the mission from liftoff to touch-down in AR, for a whole 120 hours of content. To keep users hooked, the AR broadcast not only features added context about the mission itself, but also photographs, videos and more that highlight John F. Kennedy’s role in bringing a man to the moon.

Visitors of the JFK Library in Boston get to watch a 363-ft tall original-size recreation of the Saturn V Rocket on the library grounds this week. You can read more about the making of the app here.

CBS News will stream a rebroadcast of its original 1969 Apollo 11 launch coverage, featuring Walter Cronkite, starting at 6 a.m. ET on its website.

Apolloinrealtime.org is recreating the entire mission with a fascinating mix of real-time audio, text transcripts, photos, video clips and more.

We will update this post with additional links as they become available. Make sure to check back frequently.


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