Marking the 50th anniversary of mankind’s first steps on the moon, ‘CAPCOM GO! The Apollo Story’ was created by NASA and it opens next month exclusively at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium…

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium kicks of a major summer-long series of events next month to officially mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo II moon landing, celebrating mankind’s first major foray into the cosmos and Neil Armstrong’s breath-taking lunar steps.

As part of the programme, a new and thrilling 360-degree immersive movie will be showcased at the Planetarium’s stunning dome from Saturday 20 July, revealing the jaw-dropping achievements of NASA’s Apollo programme and the huge amount of work that went in to putting the first human on the moon.

With stunning high definition visuals, animation and sound, the NASA-created movie, CAPCOM GO!, spans from the earliest days of the space race right through to the final lunar landing and is guaranteed to inspire generations of all ages. Armagh Planetarium is the only venue in Ireland which his permitted by NASA to host this movie spectacular.

As well as facts and fun involved, this informative 30-minute film flight also highlights the dangerous testing that was carried out to make the moon mission a success, as well as the lives that were lost as part of this accurate, true-life depiction of an incredible moment in history.

Michael Burton, Professor, Armagh Observatory and Planetarium said:

“With only a few weeks to go to the start of our summer-long ‘One Giant Leap’ programme of events and activities, I’m delighted to confirm that the island of Ireland’s only Planetarium has secured the rights to exclusively showcase a real film spectacular. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the 50th Apollo 11 Anniversary in 2019.

“Would-be astronauts of all ages are invited to learn this epic story of humanity’s first voyage to another world. There is something for the whole family to enjoy in this landmark year and plenty of out-of-this-world things to do and experience.”

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium’s new ‘One Giant Leap’ programme is now live and tickets are on sale for all events, including CAPCOM GO!

From moon-themed Minecraft, an augmented reality space park and a ‘Museum of the Moon’ festival on the Mall, events run from Saturday 6 July until late August. CAPCOM GO! opens on Saturday 20th July.

Armagh Planetarium opens Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from 11.30am to 5pm (last admission 4pm). You can check the website for regular updates and for booking tickets, as well as information about special evening and Sunday opening times. Alternatively, phone 028 3752 3689.

Key highlights from the One Giant Leap summer programme include:


Daily at 10am, 12.15am, 2:15pm and 4pm from 11-13 July.

Kids will love these special moon-themed gaming workshops using Minecraft which will challenge them to explore the cosmos as part of individual and group challenges using laptops and electronic devices. Suitable for children aged eight and over, delivered in conjunction with STEM Aware, demand will be sky high for this his knock-out feature event.  Note: The 4pm session is best suited for children under 8 years old.


Daily from 17-31 July

For two full weeks, in conjunction with the Robinson Library, Number 5 Vicars’ Hill, Armagh County Museum and the Market Place Theatre, the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium will host the International Astronomical Union centenary exhibition celebrating the astronomical discoveries of the last century, associated technological developments and their impact on human culture.


Saturday and Sunday 20&21 July

Located in the Mall in Armagh’s city centre and perfect for a picnic, this outstanding free family event, which is supported by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, will feature a jaw-dropping, specially-commissioned 7-metre diameter backlit sky-high moon globe and centrepiece alongside live music, children’s workshops, talks and entertainment. Why not also take in a trip to Armagh Observatory and Planetarium for an all-day experience to remember?


Various dates at 7pm

The Planetarium’s iconic dome is the inspiring location for a series of thrilling space-themed blockbuster movies. Introduced by real-life astronomers who will explain the science behind the stories, this unique and inspiring event is not to be missed.  See website for details.


July 20 Onwards

In a major first for Northern Ireland, prepare to be enthralled as part of your visit to the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium where the Astropark will be your virtual launch base to experience a ‘real’ live take-off of a 110m-high Saturn V rocket from the top of the Hill of Infinity. Then immerse yourself in the Planetarium in a virtual model of the Moon before making your way across a virtual moon landscape of an Apollo landing site.  Awesome!  Note: the first release will require an iPhone to experience.


Daily from Saturday 20 July

A special show launching inside the iconic Armagh Planetarium Dome of CapCom Go, an immersive full dome show and historical documentary that showcases the stellar achievements of the Apollo programme and the real story and preparations made behind humanity’s first trip to the Moon. Introducing a new generation to this amazing human story, it will thrill want-to-be explorers, engineers, designers, thinkers and dreamers of the future!  Tickets may be reserved from 1 April.


Friday and Saturday 16-17 August

An important, engaging event for your younger team. Join Scientific Sue for a Super Summer live science show – but prepare yourself for lots of explosions, mess, fun and, most importantly, learning! It’s all hand-on for all the family in this brilliant 60-minute show which guarantees fun for everyone.


Saturday and Sunday 6&7 July

Marking a special return to kick off this year’s exciting summer programme, Heroes & Legends at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium takes place every day between 10am and 4.30pm and promises to take your space enthusiasts on an experiential journey of discovery. Come along and meet iconic costumed characters including Harry Potter, Spiderman, Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Star Wars and many more. Bring your camera to make those memories last!


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