JFK Space Fest 2019

July 20, 2019 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Location John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Join us for a special commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. The day will include guest speaker presentations,  interactive activities, make and take space crafts, and space presentations in the Museum galleries for visitors of all ages.


Admission: Registration is not required. All guest speaker presentations in Smith Center will be free and open to the public. Visitors ages 17 and under will be admitted to the Museum and all special space activities free of charge on this day. Additional student, military, senior, and EBT discounts are available. Regular Museum admission fees apply to all other visitors. 

Click here to download the full program for the day.

Welcome and ISS Greeting | 10:15 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

Join us for the Space Fest launch and an “out-of-this-world” video greeting from NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Engineer, Inventor, and Former NASA Astronaut Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz  |  10:20 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz, founder and CEO of the Ad Astra Rocket Company, discusses his research and career, including 25 years’ service as a NASA astronaut and a veteran of seven space shuttle flights. He is the author of Dream’s Journey and To Mars and Beyond, FAST!

Former NASA Astronaut Daniel Burbank  |  11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Former NASA astronaut Daniel Burbank, currently Senior Technical Fellow for Mission Systems at Collins Aerospace Systems, discusses his experience from more than two decades at NASA, including his time aboard the International Space Station.

Spacesuit Engineering Demonstration  |  1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

NASA Engineer Su Curley, who works on crew survival spacesuits and hardware for the Orion Program, including the journey to Mars, discusses current spacesuit technology and shows visitors how suits are used for spacewalking.

Imaginative Invention with Dr. Lonnie Johnson  |  2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Dr. Lonnie Johnson, founder of Johnson Research and Development Co., Inc, and holder of over 100  patents, discusses his career in invention – from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to inventing the Super Soaker®, the top-selling water toy in history.

"Moon-themed Musical Performance and “The Eagle Has Landed”: A Closing Ceremony Exactly 50 Years Later  |  3:50 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.  

Gather for a musical send-off and to celebrate the Apollo 11 Moon landing together exactly half a century ago. A special souvenir will be given to all visitors at the end of the ceremony.

Enjoy Moon-themed Music:

Drive A Cappella

Pop-up Performances 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Musical Performance 3:50 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.


Interactive Activities and Hands-on Gallery Carts ★ 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

★     Take the JFK Challenge! | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Try out the JFK Challenge! Kids’ App 

★     Eclipse Soundscapes | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Explore solar eclipses through an audio and tactile experience with Eclipse Soundscapes app, hold 3D models of the Sun and Earth’s Moon in your hand to learn more about the important interactions between the Earth, its Moon and the Sun with an astrophysicist. SAO: Solar Stellar X-Ray Group, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

★     NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory | 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Write your name in binary code, view the Milky Way on virtual reality headsets, and hold a 3D model of a dying star in your hand. NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

★     Space Jeopardy! | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. & 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Test your knowledge of space exploration, including your ability to identify Earth’s geography from the International Space Station (ISS). Compete for a prize!

★     Space Poems to Order | 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Name a topic about space and a poet will compose a poem on a manual typewriter for you to keep! Traveling Poetry Emporium

★     Spot the Space Spinoff! A Pop-Up Space Exhibit | 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Can you figure out which of the items on display were invented in the process of preparing for space flight? Explore this pop-up exhibit of everyday items and discover which have space-technology origins. 


“Make and Take” Space Crafts ★ 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

★     Space Patches | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Learn about spaceflight patches and color or design your own patch for a space travel mission.

★     Astronauts Puppets | 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Learn how to suit up for space while you color a spacesuit and create your own Astronaut Puppet. 

★     Space Helmets | 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Make your own space helmet and learn about how astronauts stay safe in space.

★     Trailblazing Astronauts Portrait Collage | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Learn about trailblazing astronauts and use collage to create a unique portrait of them.

★     Make Your Own Mercury Spacecraft | 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Make your very own mini spacecraft complete with parachute.

★     Make a Mini Moon Map | 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Create your own mini Moon with its unique geography and map Apollo landing sites.

★     Origami LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) | 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Learn about spaceflight and make your own Eagle LEM using the paper-folding art of origami.


Explore the Museum Galleries! ★ 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

★     The Race for Space Discovery Cart | 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. &  3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Come explore the first manned American spacecraft in this hands-on experience for all ages. See the real Freedom 7 spacecraft and follow Mercury Astronaut Alan Shepard from lift-off to splashdown and perform important space duties. 

★     Curator’s Corner: The Gemini Spacecraft Model | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Explore a scale model of the Gemini Spacecraft — an artifact only on display today — with Museum Curator Janice Hodson.

★     Earth’s Moon: Share Your Memories | 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Share your memories and thoughts about Earth’s Moon in a special Space Fest book. 

★     Tape Art Mural | 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Make sure to take your picture with the original Tape Art murals commemorating the wonder of the Apollo 11 mission and honoring all of the people who made this milestone of human achievement in space a reality. 

★     Don’t Miss These Space Artifacts!

  • Freedom 7 spacecraft flown by Astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space, in the Space Program Gallery
  • Moon Rock from the Apollo 15 mission in the Legacy Gallery
  • JFK Medal in the JFK100: Milestones & Mementos exhibit


Image of JFK Space Fest Schedule at a Glance


This anniversary program is sponsored by Raytheon Company as lead sponsor, with additional support from The Boeing Company and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Kennedy Library Forums are made possible with generous support from: Bank of America, the Lowell Institute, Gourmet Hospitality Group, The Boston Globe, Xfinity, and WBUR.

Original image courtesy of NASA.