HOUSTON — You don’t need a rocket to travel back in time. You just need some classic cars like a 1964 Corvette Stingray owned by retired flight planner John Rivers.

“During the moon landing, this car was parked on site by building 4,” Rivers said.

Stepping back into the 1960s with a classic car parade, oldies music and retro clothing was a way for Johnson Space Center employees to commemorate the Apollo 11 launch over lunch on Tuesday.

“Apollo 11 launched today, 50 years ago,” said JSC Deputy Director Vanessa Wyche.

Wyche bought a vintage dress for the occasion but said everyone is also focused on the next moon landing in 2024.

“We will have the first woman and the next man to land on the moon,” Wyche said. “From there, we’re going to learn how to live on another body, and then we’ll move on to Mars.”

Events looking back at Apollo 11 have taken place all year.

The historic mission control was re-dedicated a few week ago following a major restoration. Re-designed Apollo exhibits also opened at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. That’s where the Saturn V rocket blasted off with its history-making payload exactly five decades ago.

Johnson Space Center intern Katherine Herrick wasn’t born until 1996.

“Celebrating the anniversary is a really cool opportunity for everyone in my generation to learn about Apollo,” Herrick said. “But also to look forward to the future.”

A bigger public celebration is planned for Saturday, the 50th anniversary of the actual 1969 moon landing.


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