How to Celebrate the Moon Landing's 50th Anniversary - United Hub
Hemispheres

How to celebrate the moon landing’s 50th anniversary

By The Hub team, July 09, 2019

Story by Susan B. Barnes • Hemispheres July 2019

10 ways to commemorate Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind.

10. Walk like an astronaut

A picture of an astronaut

Long before liftoff, all of the astronauts who would walk on the surface of the Moon trained in the desert and forest around Flagstaff, Arizona, from 1963 to 1972. Join a three-hour guided hike through the Bonito Lava Flow in Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument to experience firsthand the places where the astronauts learned to drive the Lunar Roving Vehicle (or moon buggy) and to pick up tiny pebbles while wearing clumsy space-suit gloves.

9. Cheers to 50 years

A cocktail to celebrate 50 years

Sommelier and mixologist Sean Beck developed a trio of cocktails for three Houston restaurants to celebrate the milestone. “I'm a history buff and always enjoyed the study of space," he says, “so it was easy to find inspiration for such a monumental event." At Xochi, his Tranquility Base Margarita features a moon rock–inspired ice sphere made from crème de violette and Oaxacan poléo tea. The “moon" also appears in Backstreet Café's We Came in Peace for All Mankind (pictured), a riff on the classic Last Word cocktail that's named for the final sentence on the plaque placed on the moon. Finally, at Caracol, the Michael Collins Remembered is an ode to the third Apollo 11 member, who stayed on the command module during the moon walk. “Michael Collins was quite simply the loneliest man in the universe when he was on the far side of the moon, out of communication and view of our planet," Beck says. “He doesn't get nearly enough attention. When I think of him, I think of being crazy-brave, passionate, and so calm and in control." The spin on an old-fashioned captures Collins's passion through the use of Glenfiddich Fire & Cane Whisky and is served with an ice cube studded with toasted blue corn kernels, which hover in the drink like little moon rocks.

8. Party like it's 1969

The moon landing celebrations that took place 50 years ago

“As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, I am still in awe by the fact that I walked on the moon," Buzz Aldrin recently said. He and a slew of other astronauts—along with the retired Air Force One that carried the Apollo 11 crew on a post-mission world tour—will appear at the “black-tie/white-spacesuit" gala at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on July 13. In Washington, D.C., meanwhile, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum will hold its culminating celebration on July 20 at 10:56 p.m. (the exact time Armstrong's foot touched the moon). And Space Center Houston will cap its festivities with a '60s-themed Splashdown party on July 24 to honor the successful return of Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins, whose command module floated down to the Pacific Ocean with the help of three enormous parachutes.

7. Where to see moon memorabilia

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.

Thanks in part to a Kickstarter campaign, Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit goes back on display on July 16, for the first time in 13 years.

The Museum of Flight, Seattle

The command module Columbia is the centerpiece of the exhibit Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission (through September 2), which features a 3-D tour of the module's interior made with high-resolution scans from the Smithsonian.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Merritt Island, Florida

The newly refreshed Apollo/Saturn V Center houses one of the three remaining Saturn V rockets, which propelled the Apollo 11 crew into space, and the Astrovan, which transported them to the launch pad.

6. Hop onto a spacecraft

Spaceport America in New Mexico

Although space tourism is still a thing of the future, more than 700 people have reportedly already signed up for a $250,000 commercial flight into orbit that will eventually blast off from the sleek Spaceport America, deep in the New Mexico desert. Until then, check out the Spaceport America Visitor Center, which is housed in a historic adobe building in nearby Truth or Consequences, to test your mettle in a G-force simulator—the perfect training for young space lovers who might be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mars landing in the not-too-distant future.

5. Houston, we have restoration

Scenes from the Apollo Mission Control Center

On June 28, Space Center Houston and Johnson Space Center debuted a totally restored—down to the last scrap of wallpaper and carpet—Apollo Mission Control Center. The goal? If a scientist who worked there in the 1960s arrived today, he or she wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

“[The restoration] will not only help share our history with visitors from around the world," says Jim Thornton, the restoration project manager, “but also remind our current employees who are planning missions to send humans back to the moon and then further, to Mars, that anything is possible, and we are standing on the shoulders of giants."

The museum took every detail into account: After workers uncovered original wallpaper and carpeting, curators tracked down the manufacturers and had them replicate the 1960s look. They also hand-stamped the ceiling tiles with original patterns and ordered a period-appropriate coffee pot on eBay.

Old machinery from the Apollo Mission Control Center

“We're using modern methods to make things look old," says historic preservation officer Sandra Tetley. The original flip tops on the Visitors Viewing Room ashtrays, for instance, had vanished over the years—likely taken as souvenirs—so Tetley's team had new ones 3-D printed. Meanwhile, a team at Kansas's Cosmosphere is restoring the flight control consoles to the original Apollo configuration (they had been modernized for space shuttle launches). These updates have a purpose beyond aesthetics, says Space Center Houston president and CEO William T. Harris: “The accomplishments of the Apollo era inspired people and spurred innovators to chase impossible dreams. We hope experiencing the restored historic Mission Control will spark curiosity and fuel people of all ages to join the science, technology, engineering, and math pathway."

4. Kids in space

This summer, let your budding astronauts get in on the action. During Discover the Moon Day (July 19) at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in D.C., visitors can follow a route that's roughly the distance the Apollo 11 crew walked on the moon (about 3,300 feet), stopping at informational stations along the way. On July 20 at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas, kids can sketch their own space-suit designs and make suit components from household materials. And Denver's Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum hosts an Apollo-palooza (July 13–20) with speakers such as NASA flight director Gene Kranz, who was played by Ed Harris in Apollo 13.

3. Shoot the moon

Photography of the moon

The moon has served as a muse since the earliest days of both art—the 15,000-year-old Lascaux cave paintings contain a lunar calendar—and photography. Two newly discovered 1840s daguerreotypes, believed to be the earliest existing photographic images of the moon, form the centerpiece of Apollo's Muse (through September 22) at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is also displaying cameras used by the Apollo crew. At the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., By the Light of the Silvery Moon (through January 5, 2020) includes glass stereographs taken more than a century apart: some captured by British astronomer Warren De La Rue in the 1850s, others by Armstrong and Aldrin on the surface of the moon in 1969. Finally, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Shooting the Moon (through September 2) includes works by Ansel Adams, Garry Winogrand, and “remix artist" Cassandra C. Jones (pictured).

2. Lunch with an astronaut

An out-of-this-world experience—with an otherworldly price tag that starts at $10,000—awaits at The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston. The two-night Space Center Houston Package includes travel via helicopter to Ellington Field (a former NASA training center), a private tour of Johnson Space Center, and a private lunch with an astronaut. Afterward, return to earth with the hotel's Ritual of Five Worlds treatment.

1. ...We have liftoff

Huntsville, Alabama—aka Rocket City—is the home of the Saturn V rocket. To honor its place in history, the city's U.S. Space & Rocket Centeris launching a record 5,000 model rockets at the exact local time of liftoff, 8:32 a.m., on July 16. The organization has also tasked everyday space lovers with launching their own model, stomp, and makeshift rockets and posting photos with the hashtag #GlobalRocketLaunch.

A makeshift rocket with three men inside at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Celebrating immigration perspectives and diverse journeys

By The Hub team, September 25, 2020

From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, the U.S. celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, a chance to pay tribute to the history, culture and contributions that generations of Latinxs have paved to enrich U.S. history. It is also a reminder to celebrate our differences and spark difficult, yet important, conversations.

To kick off the month, UNITE, our multicultural business resource group for employees, did just that by hosting a panel discussion about the immigrant experience and what it means to be an immigrant in the U.S.

United Litigation and Managing Counsel Elizabeth Lopez, who is a pro bono immigration attorney, moderated the panel, and was joined by Ashley Huebner, Associate Director of Legal Services at the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and Magdalena Gonzalez, Program Manager, Leadership Development Programs at Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement. The three women shared their insights and personal stories, while addressing some misconceptions and highlighting the contributions of immigrants to our company and country.

Participants' headshots from United's Hispanic Heritage Month Panel From left to right, Elizabeth Lopez, Ashely Huebner and Magdalena Gonzalez

"I started to notice that there were things I was scared of doing, that I needed to be cautious," said Magdalena while sharing her personal experience as a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient. "My friends, who a majority of them are citizens, did not need to worry about that. As I was able to see that, I realized that, 'oh, there's so many things that revolve around not just being a DACA recipient but revolve around being a person with an undocumented status here in the United States.'"

United maintains a close relationship with the NIJC. In May of 2019, United co-hosted an asylum clinic put on by the legal services organization, where several attorneys and legal professionals were trained on representing asylum-seeking applicants. At the end of the clinic, members of our legal department were assigned an asylum case through the NIJC.

Litigation Managing Counsel Elizabeth Lopez, Commercial Transactions Counsel Tiffany Jaspers, Global Compliance and Ethics Counsel Nancy Jacobson and Employment Litigation Senior Manager Dorothy Karpierz were partnered with attorneys from the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery to take on an immigration case of a mother of three from Honduras. Recently, after a years-long court battle, the legal team was victorious, changing the life of the woman and her family.

United is committed to connecting people and uniting the world. Whether you're an immigrant, a child of immigrants or simply want to learn more about the immigrant experience in the U.S., discussions like these, related to this hot-button issue, are important to have in order to understand the human lives behind it.

Make your voice heard

By Brett J. Hart, September 22, 2020

Your voice matters. Voting is one of the most influential civic activities we can engage in as Americans. At United, our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. That's why we've long provided our employees with resources to help them get registered to vote.

This year, we're taking our support a step further as the official airline of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Since the start of the pandemic, we've overhauled our cleaning measures through a program we call United CleanPlusSM , and the CPD has placed their trust in United to fly Commission production staff to each of the four debates, starting with the first one on September 29, hosted by Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.

Today, on National Voter Registration Day, we also want to make sure our customers have access to information about how to participate in the 2020 Election. Over the past several months, you've heard a lot from us about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed air travel. We've learned that with some planning and extra effort, it's still possible — and safe. That's true of voting, too.

No matter which party you support or how you're planning to vote, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and make a plan to vote.

Best,

Brett J. Hart
President
United Airlines

United named to Year Up Opportunity Hall of Fame

By The Hub team, September 17, 2020

Since its launch 20 years ago, Year Up, one of our critical needs grant recipients, has helped more than 10,000 young adults gain access to corporate business and technical experience at large companies like United while offering the invaluable perspectives they bring with them.

On Wednesday, the nonprofit inducted United into its Opportunity Hall of Fame – a selection that occurs once every five years.

Year Up's mission is to help close the opportunity divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Since 2018, our partnership has allowed talented student learners the opportunity to gain corporate business experience and technical skill training at the airline while bringing their unique perspectives to our United family and culture. One of those students is Emily Lopez, who graduated from the Year Up program in January 2019 and was hired to be part of the United family as an analyst in Revenue Management.

"I moved from Venezuela to the United States in July 2016 and being a young immigrant with no resources can be difficult to pursue a career in a new country," said Emily.

After learning about Year Up and ultimately being accepted into the program, Emily landed an internship with United, an opportunity she is very grateful for.

Emily Lopez - Analyst, Pricing & Revenue Management

"Feedback from my mentors, coaches and managers was key during my internship phase and helped me convert my internship at United to a full-time position. I am grateful for the opportunity United has provided me and my Year Up Alumni colleagues to keep building a professional career within the company. I am so excited to continue building a professional career with the company and to see United being inducted to Year Up's Hall of Fame. Let's continue closing the opportunity divide!" said Emily.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has made this year's partnership a bit more difficult, we continue to do our part to support the Year Up student learners. Last month, we surprised 145 graduates of this year's Year Up Chicago program with roundtrip tickets to pursue career and networking opportunities within the United States.

"I've been personally honored and inspired to be an advocate for Year Up since I joined United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "This program gives young people from challenged backgrounds an opportunity to get their foot in the door as interns at United. This year's graduates are entering a challenging job landscape, but we have one thing that can help: a route network that provides easy access to major business markets across the United States."

Scroll to top