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Press Release: State Museum of Pennsylvania Celebrates 50th Anniversary of First Manned Landing on the Moon

July 10, 2019

Filed under Events, Exhibits, Geology, Planetarium, Press Releases, Zoology

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Only eight documented meteorites have been found in Pennsylvania. The largest one, collected in 1922 and weighing nearly 37 pounds, is from New Baltimore in Somerset County. Dr. Steven E. Jasinski of The State Museum’s Section of Paleontology and Geology stands with a cast replica of the New Baltimore Meteorite now on exhibit at The State Museum.

Harrisburg, PA – The State Museum of Pennsylvania will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with “Moon Madness” from July 17 to 21. Cases in the museum will display space-themed toys, moon rocks, meteorites, and space monkey Miss Sam’s chair from the Project Mercury mission. Even a great-horned owl that hunts by moonlight will be on exhibit. Special planetarium shows and a series of hands-on activities for all ages will be held throughout the week. 

Wednesday, July 17

Moon Madness: Build and Launch a Paper Rocket, 11:30 AM

Museum educators will teach children ages 6 to 12 how to use paper and Alka-Seltzer to create and launch their own rockets. The program will be held on the 1st floor followed by launches on the Plaza.

Thursday, July 18

Curiosity Kids: Moon Making, 11:30 AM

Children ages 3 to 6 will learn about the moon, what it is, and why it looks the way it does. Children will then create a picture of the moon to take home with them. The event will be held in Nature Lab.

Friday, July 19

Learn at Lunchtime, 12 noon and 12:30 PM

Learn at Lunch will be held in the Planetarium for presentations of Apollo 11: Man’s First Step Onto The Moon. Produced by Jenks Planetarium, the show follows the small steps and giant leaps made by the astronauts as they land on the moon’s surface for the first time. This program is covered under the “Summer Fridays Pay As You Wish” admission.

3rd in the Burg: Moon Madness Planetarium & Party, 5:30-7:30 PM

This special Moon Madness event presented in partnership with the Harrisburg Young Professionals features activities, Planetarium shows and refreshments.

Visitors will be able to experience what goes into astronaut training and find out how they would perform as team members by participating in special challenges to test their fine motor skills.

The Planetarium will feature Apollo 11: Man’s First Step Onto The Moon, with showings at 6:00 PM and 6:30 PM. Planetarium seating is limited. Program participants will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Admission is free for the event.

The Planetarium at The State Museum of Pennsylvania

The planetarium is offering two shows from July 17 to 21.

Who Am I? (Pre-K to Grade 2), Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 11:00 AM;

Saturday, 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM; Sunday, 1:00 PM

It has many names, can be mysterious, and looks right at us but doesn’t always show its face. It’s the moon, and life would be very different without it. This show, designed for young children by the Planetarium at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, is all about the moon.

Apollo 11: Man’s First Step Onto The Moon (Grade 4 and up), Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 1:00 PM; Saturday, 12:00 noon and 2:00 PM; Sunday, 2:00 PM

The Apollo 11 moon landing was one of the most momentous times in history. This show, produced by Jenks Planetarium, follows the small steps and giant leaps made by the astronauts as they land on the moon’s surface for the first time.

Planetarium shows are $3 per person in addition to general admission. Members of the State Museum Affiliate and the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation are admitted free. Planetarium shows are subject to change without prior notification.


The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 24 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania’s fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary eras, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the commonwealth’s vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania’s story is America’s story.

Museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sunday, 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Admission is $7 for adults (ages 12-64), $6 for senior citizens (ages 65 and up), and $5 for children (ages 1-11).

The State Museum has joined other museums across the country in Museums for All. This program enables low-income families to visit participating museums for a nominal fee of $2 per person with the presentation of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and identification. This offer is for general admission only and excludes special programs or events.

For more information about the museum, visit www.statemuseumpa.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

MEDIA CONTACT: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639

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