HILL AIR FORCE BASE — It was 50 years ago this month that Neil Armstrong uttered what has become one of the most well-known sentences in modern history: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

The Hill Aerospace Museum and the Clark Planetarium are teaming to celebrate the event that lead to Armstrong's now exalted words — the Apollo 11 spaceflight that sent the first two humans to the moon. According to NASA, Commander Armstrong's and lunar pilot Buzz Aldrin's journey launched on July 16, 1969 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The pair landed on the moon eight days later, on July 24.

To celebrate five decades since Armstrong's boots first imprinted the far off sphere, the museum and the planetarium are offering a free, week-long series of special events.

Hill Air Force Base spokesman Donovan Potter said Jessica Vos, a NASA Engineer at Johnson Space Center in Houston, will teach courses and give lectures focusing on the capabilities necessary for human space exploration. Eight educational courses and two evening lectures will be offered from July 15-20. Potter said the classes are open to all ages, but the evening lectures are geared toward an adult audience.

According to a short NASA bio provided by Hill, Vos has a background in aerospace systems engineering, project management and human performance. She was born and raised in a remote part of Alaska, growing up with an appreciation for human survival in extreme environments.

Her NASA career began in 1999 as an intern at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. She spent her early career supporting the Advanced Spacesuit Systems Development Laboratory, where she developed innovative approaches to assessing human performance in a spacesuit.

Vos currently supports the Orion Program Vehicle Integration Office, working to ensure the Orion spacecraft design is capable of supporting future human missions to the moon.

During the anniversary celebration, Vos will lead classes at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on July 15 and 16 at the museum, 7961 Wardleigh Road, Hill AFB. She'll have the same schedule on July 17 and 18 at the planetarium, 110 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City. Her evening lectures will be held from 5-7 p.m. on July 19 and 20 at the museum and the planetarium, respectively. 

Robb Alexander, executive director of the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah, said museum curator Justin Hall and education director Mark Standing helped craft the anniversary celebration. Hall had previously worked with Vos and Standing teaches Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum at the museum.

"Obviously, it was such a monumental event," Alexander said. "And we wanted to give it the respect it deserves. I think people are going to enjoy it." 

For more information, visit Aerospaceutah.org.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!