GLASGOW Science Centre (GSC) is celebrating 50 years of mankind’s small steps since the iconic moon landings. 

Moon50 is the GSC’s space-themed family party where, on July 20, party-goers are encouraged to dress up and discover how the moon landings inspired us to think big, make peace and look after our planet.

Transporting revellers back in time to 1969 when Neil Armstrong first put his space-boot on the surface of the moon, the GSC will recreate a Glasgow living room complete with the memories of those present. 

Ellen Thompson was visiting her sister’s farm in Campsie Hills on the first landing. 

“I was 18 at the time”, she says. “My nephew was just a baby. We went outside to see if we could see the module landing on the moon. Obviously, we didn’t, so we went back in to watch it live on the black and white television.

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“It was so exciting. I remember thinking, when I saw it, that I’d actually seen history being made.”

“When we heard: 'One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind', we had goose pimples. 

Not only were the moon landings a giant leap for mankind, but so too were they for science. 

When Apollo 11 landed on the moon, Ken Darling was working at the Nuclear Enterprises based in Edinburgh producing nucleonic instruments. 

“On its return, they worked with actual moon fragments that were brought back,” he said. 

“Everyone at Nuclear Enterprises were all very excited about the event and there was much discussion on the day of what an unbelievable feat had been accomplished.

“When Apollo 11 returned to Earth it did so with several kilograms of material from the surface of the moon. 

“I recall vividly a small phial containing a few grams of the material which had arrived in the semiconductor laboratory where I worked, this caused great excitement.

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“The sample had been the subject of high temperature and pressure experiments at the Geology Department at Edinburgh University. When it arrived in our laboratory it looked like sand.

“Our analysis of the lunar samples was very special for us at Nuclear Enterprises at the time.”

Whilst the GSC exhibition is celebrating the lunar landings, it is also a celebration of family and nostalgia for Glasgow during the 1960s. 

The planetarium shows and workshops give opportunities for kids to learn, while the 60s themed disco boogies back right into the days of 60s flower power. 

For many, the moon landings marked huge changes in the world. Basia Palka immigrated from Poznan in Poland to a single end at the Gorbals at the same time as Apollo 11 left the earth, and for her, the journeys are hand in hand. 

“I arrived in Scotland in 1969 after being put on a train in Poznan aged 10 by my grandfather. 

“I travelled to the UK by myself and was brought to a single end in the Gorbals. 

“We had a black and white TV there and on the day of the moon landing some of the neighbours piled into the one room to watch this bit of history in the making. At that point in time, I had no English, but I understood that this was an amazing moment.

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“I could empathise with the astronauts who had taken such a trip as I felt that I too had taken an enormous journey to get here to Glasgow all by myself with a name tag round my neck. 

“I remember when I had put my foot down on British soil for the first time as I watched the first astronaut putting his foot down on the surface of the moon. 

We had this much in common – a ginormous journey. Theirs had been a bit longer than mine.”

For the full programme of events go to 50-landing-party