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Starry Heavens Newsletter
July 2019

Join us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo11 and man’s first landing on the moon during the Apollo11 Family Spacefest at Windward Community College on Saturday, July 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The special one-day-only free event features free Imaginarium shows, moon rocks and a NASA exhibit at Gallery ‘Iolani, special speakers, food, music, aerospace exhibits, Project Imua student rocketeers, and lots of family fun. This event is co-sponsored by Hawai‘i State Archives and Hawai‘i State Library.


Time Activity
10 a.m. Opening Ceremony at Gallery ‘Iolani
10 a.m.–4 p.m. Gallery ‘Iolani exhibit Many Small Steps
11 a.m.–4 p.m. Imaginarium shows (FREE)
  • Astronaut –11 a.m.
  • Back to the Moon – 12 p.m.
  • Dawn of the Space Age – 1 p.m.
  • Astronaut – 2 p.m.
  • Back to the Moon – 3 p.m.
11 a.m.–4 p.m. Space Facepainting
11 a.m.–4 p.m. Photo booth with space props

11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Aerospace Exploration Lab (hands-on for all ages)
11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Aerospace Exhibitors


12:30–1 p.m.

Dr. Jeff Taylor, Legacy of Apollo / Hale ‘Imiloa 133

Bruce Blakenfeld, Polynesian Voyaging / Hale ‘Imiloa 133

1:30–2 p.m. Krissie Kellogg, Space Shuttle / Hale ‘Imiloa 133

Gallery ‘Iolani

Many Small Steps, a 50th anniversary NASA exhibit, outlines the steps that led to the first human landing on the moon, from early space flight to Apollo to the future of space exploration, as well as 3D models of the Apollo spacecraft and other space-related items. The State Archives will provide Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks and two Hawaiian flags that were placed on the lunar surface by the Apollo astronauts, brought back to Earth, and gifted to the people of Hawai‘i. The Royal Hawaiian Guard will stand honor guard by these artifacts. Open 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Imaginarium shows (free shows during Spacefest event)


Find out what it takes to be an astronaut! Explore inner and outer space as you experience a rocket launch from an astronaut's point of view and float around the International Space Station in micro-gravity. Narrated by Ewan McGregor.

Back to the Moon

Beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, we see what that era of landers and orbiters taught us about our nearest neighbor. And, who will win the Google Lunar XPRIZE? We are taken through a successful launch, landing and lunar surface travel, ending with a stunning glimpse of a plausible scenario for our future on the Moon. Narrated by Tim Allen.

Dawn of the Space Age

Re-live the excitement of the early days of space exploration, from the launch of the first artificial satellite to the magnificent lunar landings and privately operated space flights. Who were these men and women that took part in these death-defying endeavors? Witness their drive, their passion, and their perseverance to explore.

Aerospace-related exhibits

Exhibitors will showcase their activities, including Hawaii State Library, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, PISCES, HI-SEAS and Hawaii Space Grant Consortium:

  • Hawaii State Library with a display of space books for all ages
  • Hawaii Space Grant Consortium, based at UH Mānoa with affiliate campuses throughout the UH system, supports undergraduate aerospace research projects
  • Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum provides stewardship of the aviation artifacts from Pearl Harbor’s WW II history and educational programs for Hawaii’s youth
  • PISCES (Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems) is a stated-funded aerospace agency under DBEDT that promotes the aerospace industry in Hawai‘i
  • HI-SEAS (Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) is a UH Mānoa project and manages a habitat on Mauna Loa that simulates a crew-based Martian colony


Music will be performed by the Pacific Fleet Band–Harbor Brass Quintet in the courtyard next to Gallery ‘Iolani. Food can be purchased from The Hub (Windward CCʻs coffee shop in the library) and Waimānalo Country Farms.

For more information about this family-friendly event, contact Imaginarium Manager Dineene O‘Connor at 808-235-7350 or

 "One small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind." Everyone of a certain age remembers where they were July 20, 1969 when they heard those words from Neil Armstrong. It was a monumental moment that was preceded by many smaller steps.  A review of the time line that preceded man's first footprint on the moon gives us some perspective.

On July 20, 1969, 600 million people watched with anxious excitement as Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. took their first steps on the moon's surface. This historic achievement belongs to many more Americans than just this trio (Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin) of astronauts. Behind the scenes, more than 400,000 people worked on the mission and made it possible for them to land on the moon. All told, it was one of the greatest feats that we humans have ever pulled off. 

The mission, dubbed Apollo 11, was the climax of the Apollo program, which pushed human spaceflight forward faster than ever before. In October 1968, the first crewed flight of the Apollo program lifted off; less than a year later, Apollo 11 launched. Within just a few short years, a total of six missions landed twelve U.S. astronauts on the surface of the moon. A seemingly impossible goal, the first human landing on the moon was a major victory for the United States in the ongoing space race with Cold War rival, the Soviet Union.

"We choose to go to the moon," U.S. President John. F. Kennedy famously declared in 1962 to a captivated crowd at Rice Stadium in Texas. This speech invoked a new urgency in the space race, which had been going on between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The two Cold War rivals were both determined to outdo the other and land humans on the lunar surface first. The U.S. efforts in this contest included two predecessors to Project Apollo: Project Mercury, which began in 1958 and Project Gemini in 1961. Apollo 11 was successful only because of the missions that came before it. Those flights set the stage for the lunar landing and served as the testing grounds for the burgeoning technologies and strategies that were eventually used in that mission.

Apollo 1, originally named Apollo Saturn-204 or AS-204, was to be the program's first crewed mission, set to orbit Earth with three astronauts aboard.

Apollo 7, launched October 11, 1968, orbited Earth for more than a week and splashed back down on October 22. The mission also showcased how the mission-support facilities could work together with the vehicles and the crew members.

Apollo 8 launched December 21, 1968 and returned home on December 27. Apollo 8 was a major step forward in the program, as it was the first flight that took humans beyond low-Earth orbit to the moon’s orbit and back. Additionally, on this flight, astronaut Bill Anders took the famous "Earth-rise" photo, showing the planet seeming to hover above the moon's surface. It has been called the most influential environmental photograph ever taken. 

Apollo 9, launched on March 3, 1969, and splashing down just over a week later, on March 13, after orbiting Earth. During this mission, the Apollo 9 astronauts tested all aspects and functionalities of the lunar module in Earth orbit. These tests mimicked what NASA expected would happen during a lunar landing.

The Apollo 10 mission launched May 18, 1969 proved that the crew, the vehicles, and mission support at NASA were ready for a lunar landing.
All of this preparation paved the way for NASA to finally launch the Apollo 11 mission — astonishingly less than a year after the first successful crewed Apollo flight. And the rest as they say is history.

The inspiring story of the lunar landing program permeates space exploration even today. In the fifty years after Apollo 11, NASA has sent spacecraft out beyond Pluto, to the surface of Mars and to the sun. Researchers have discovered exoplanets with Earth-like qualities, and our knowledge of the solar system and the universe at large has become profoundly more detailed over the decades. But many still view the Apollo 11 lunar landing as the greatest achievement in spaceflight. People who remember watching the landing on television still recall the moment as if magic had been made real before their eyes.    

Reservations Suggested
Due to limited seating of 84 attendees in the Imaginarium, we recommend making reservations for our programs. Call (808) 235-7433 between 8:30am - 3:30pm, Monday - Friday. Reservation phone line is not available on weekends or holidays.

Our admission prices are:
  • $8 General admission
  • $7 WCC students, military, seniors (65 years or older), with ID
  • $6 Children (ages 4-12 years)
  • Free for children under 4 years of age (1 per paying adult), and WCC faculty or staff with university ID
Please pick up and pay for reserved tickets at the Imaginarium Box Office at least 15 minutes prior to showtime. Unclaimed tickets may be sold to waiting customers on a first come, first served basis.
Please visit and LIKE our WCC Imaginarium Facebook Page.

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As always, we welcome your feedback or questions, feel free to phone (808) 235-7350 or email to If you would like information regarding our Adopt-a-Show sponsorship program please click here.
Dineene O'Connor
Manager, Hōkūlani Imaginarium
Windward Community College
Hale Imiloa 135A
Office (808) 235-7350

Cowboy Astronomer
Friday, August 2,
7:00 pm

Led Zeppelin
Friday, August 2,
8:15 pm

with Krissie Kellogg

Wednesday, August 14,
7:00 pm

Earth, Moon and Sun
Saturday, August24,
1:00 pm

Ancient Skies
Saturday, August 24,
2:00 pm
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