Jeff Bezos and Michael Collins to Join Caroline Kennedy for Celebration of 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing at JFK Library

News Release
May 23, 2019
Press contact: Matt Porter (617) 514-1574

Jeff Bezos and Michael Collins to Join Caroline Kennedy for Celebration of 50thAnniversary of Moon Landing at JFK Library

-- JFK Space Summit on June 19 will bring together leaders in space exploration and science --

Boston MA – In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing and President Kennedy’s vision that launched the effort, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, with Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, today announced that Apollo 11 Lunar Command Module pilot Michael Collins and Blue Origin Founder Jeff Bezos will take part in a daylong symposium on June 19at the JFK Library. The JFK Space Summit will highlight the history that led to the first Moon landing, current scientific and technological space initiatives, and the future of space exploration. 

“We are thrilled to bring together such an extraordinary group of people to celebrate one of the greatest achievements in human history,” said Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, honorary President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. “I hope that this program inspires new generations to come together, set ambitious goals, and renew our civic commitment to solving the problems of our time.”

In addition to Bezos and Collins, the full day JFK Space Summit program will feature:

  • An extraordinary panel of international astronauts including Chris Cassidy and Tracy Caldwell-Dyson (United States), Koichi Wakata (Japan), Paolo Nespoli (Italy), and Oleg Kotov (Russia) will discuss the international cooperation that has been essential to so many of the scientific and technological breakthroughs resulting from human space exploration. Moderated by Doug Brinkley, author of American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.
  • Former NASA administrator Charles Bolden, former director of the Johnson Space Center Ellen Ochoa, and former NASA deputy administrator Dava Newman to discuss NASA’s past and future with National Air and Space Museum director Ellen Stofan.
  • Dennis Muilenburg, Chairman, President and CEO of The Boeing Company, to discuss Boeing’s role in the Apollo program and in space travel today and in the future.
  • Former NASA Earth Science Division Director Michael Freilich to examine how space satellites have revolutionized our understanding of Planet Earth. 
  • Scientists Maria Zuber, MIT Vice President of Research, Laurie Leshin, President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Sara Seager, MIT Professor of Planetary Science and Physics, to discuss scientific discoveries that have changed our understanding of the universe beyond Planet Earth, and questions that remain unanswered. CNN host S.E. Cupp will moderate the discussion.
  • A special preview of National Geographic’s latest documentary, Apollo: Missions to the Moon, airing in July 2019. 

Visit for the full schedule and to register. All sessions of the daylong event will be open to credentialed members of the media and streamed live at and on National Geographic’s website: Seats are no longer available to the public for the evening program with Michael Collins and Jeff Bezos. The event with Dennis Muilenburg is by invitation only. Seats are available free of charge for the remainder of the day’s events. Registration is recommended. 

The JFK Space Summit and Kennedy Library Forums are made possible by generous support from lead sponsor Raytheon Company, as well as The Boeing Company, Draper, Bank of America, The Lowell Institute, Gourmet Hospitality Group, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, National Geographic, WBUR, the Boston Globe, and Xfinity.

About the JFK Library’s Celebration of the 50thAnniversary of the Moon Landing

In 1962, in a landmark speech at Rice University, President Kennedy issued a soaring challenge to the country: to land a man on the Moon within a decade and bring them safely back to Earth. It was vision of human achievement that was then unimaginable. But it wasn’t just a speech. With determination and clarity of purpose, President Kennedy marshaled the resources, talent, and political will to realize that bold vision, and lit the spark that enabled a generation of Americans to achieve one of the greatest milestones in human history. In July 1969, the Apollo 11 mission successfully landed the first two human beings on the Moon and then safely returned to Earth.

With the support of lead sponsor Raytheon Company, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum are holding a year-long celebration of the Apollo 11 mission with programming that will challenge Americans to learn from the past, draw inspiration from President Kennedy’s vision, and recommit ourselves to taking on the challenges of our own time. Featured events and programs include:

  • Augmented RealityJFK Moonshot, created by Digitas, The Connected Marketing Agency, is a first-of-its-kind augmented reality documentary app experience, employing the latest augmented reality technology to immerse users in the Apollo 11 mission from 1969. The JFK Moonshotapp will be available for download to Apple and Android devices in June. 
  • Space Fest 2019: On July 20, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the JFK Library will offer a series of on-site commemorative events, speakers, and activities for all ages including presentations on spacesuit engineering, the science of rocketry, and a behind-the-scenes look at space artifacts.
  • JFK Space Labs: The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, in partnership with Raytheon, launched two programs to engage students in space exploration through STEM learning. Students nationwide will have access to experiments like those performed on the International Space Station. Additionally, in commemoration of President Kennedy’s vision and commitment to opening new frontiers, middle and high schools named for the president will be eligible for space education grants.
  • College Symposia: NASA personnel are being featured speakers at select universities nationwide to collaborate with technology and engineering students on the thinking that is driving the technology innovation of the future.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization founded in 1984 to provide financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Kennedy Presidential Library and the Kennedy Library Foundation seek to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service. 


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