Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969, at 9:32 a.m. EDT, carrying Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin on top of a Saturn V rocket.

As this first moon landing occurred on July 20, 1969, an estimated 530 million people watched Armstrong’s televised image and heard his voice describe the event as he took “...one small step for a man, one giant step for mankind.”

The Saturn V rocket was 111 meters (363 feet) tall, about the height of a 36-story-tall building. Fully fueled for liftoff, the Saturn V weighed 2.8 million kilograms (6.2 million pounds), the weight of about 400 elephants, and generated 34.5 million newtons (7.6 million pounds) of thrust at launch, creating more power than 85 Hoover Dams.

Huntsville, Alabama, also known as the “Rocket City,” is home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where the Saturn V was developed. The launch of Apollo 11 brought the world closer together in a moment of celebration for mankind’s monumental achievement, and 50 years later, Huntsville and Space Camp want your help bringing the world together again to celebrate another awe- inspiring launch – YOUR launch! Join in the worldwide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch on July 16, 2019, by launching your own rocket! All types of rockets are welcome. No launch is too small, so start spreading the word and get ready to celebrate!

Calling all teachers, scout leaders, youth groups, summer camps, church organizations, community leaders, families, friends, and rocket enthusiast of all ages in Guntersville and around the world. Wherever you are, especially here in Marshall County, we want you to join in the celebration. The Global Launch is open to anyone who wants to participate, whether your group is large or small, or even a party of one.

Already registered to set off nearly 1,300 rockets in this Global Launch is Scout Troop 4276 of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 4961 Spring Creek Drive. Join them by also signing up and get ready to countdown to July 16, 2019.

To register to be a part of the Global Launch go to RocketCenter.com and click on “Upcoming events.” Then click on “Celebrate.” Now go to the column for “Apollo 50th Anniversary” (the first column) and scroll down to “Global Launch.” As you read the article find “Sign up today” and fill out the form. 48 – 96 hours later you will receive a confirmation in your email explaining how to report back on how many rockets you or your organization set off. Later you will receive your Certificate of Participation.

To learn more as we countdown to the Global Launch, go The Space and Rocket Center’s website for information about building your rocket, launching your rocket, and how to record your results and share them with the world. Also learn more about the Apollo 11’s historic launch, the milestones that paved the way for the first lunar landing, as well as fun things to help you get ready for the biggest rocket launch across the planet!

Any type of rocket is welcome, including bottle rockets from the 4th of July. No launch is too small, but each person can set off as many of they want to. So whether you are launching a model rocket, one made from paper and a drinking straw, or something in between, your launch counts towards the Global Launch.

The Advertiser Gleam is interested in knowing how many rockets Guntersville sets off and is asking us to keep count. Please either text the total of rockets you or your organization set off to either 478-973-7066 or email ben.v.kaiser@gmail.com. Remember to also report this count to the Rocket Center. Have fun celebrating with us!

(Information provided by with permission of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.)

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