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Chico State

Gateway Science Museum’s New Exhibit Commemorates Moon Landing, Celebrates Future Trip to Mars

Photo illustration courtesy of Gateway Science Museum

In 1969, it was one small step for man, and one giant leap for humankind. In 2019, we remain fascinated by the human and technological achievement of placing people on the moon—as well as the prospect of future missions to Mars.

This month, California State University, Chico’s Gateway Science Museum will celebrate this remarkable milestone with a temporary exhibit titled, “Before and Beyond the Moon: The 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing” and envision a future landing on Mars. The exhibit will run from June 12 through December 15.

Gateway director Adrienne McGraw said the museum is excited to explore moon exploration, while at the same time looking forward to the likelihood of landing on the Red Planet—and what that looks like.

“We are on the cusp of a whole new Space Age, and this requires new technologies, new career paths for people in the future and new international alliances,” McGraw said. “It is a complicated and exciting time.”

Visitors to the Gateway’s interactive multimedia experience enter the gallery and are immediately transported to a rich visual and audial landscape to evoke space itself. A 1969-era living room will broadcast vintage footage of the July 20, 1969, moon landing, while welcoming visitors to relax and watch this monumental moment in human history.

An exhibit grand opening is scheduled for Tuesday, June 18, from 4 to 8 p.m. Family-friendly activities include explorations of space travel, life on the moon and Mars, robotics and design challenges, and space-themed snacks will be served.

David Schlom, from North State Public Radio’s program Blue Dot, will be the exhibit’s guest curator throughout its run. Programming for the exhibit is supported by media partner KIXE.

Additionally, a host of special related events will take place over the summer:

  • On July 12 from 4 to 8 p.m., “Mapping the Moon” is a joint art project in partnership with the Museum of Northern California Art (monca)
  • Scholars Beth O’Leary and Lisa Westwood, a CSU, Chico lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, will discuss “Apollo at 50: Reflections on History, Technology and Preservation of Space Heritage” on July 16 from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing on July 20 from 12- 4 p.m., with family-friendly activities, food and music on the Gateway lawn

In addition to “Before and Beyond the Moon,” Investigation Stations will continue to be offered at the Gateway on Saturdays throughout the summer from noon to 2 p.m. These drop-in activities are included with museum admission and titles range from “Sharks Take Over Gateway,” “Plants that Smell Gross” and “Scrumptious Space Food.”

The Gateway Science Museum is located at 625 Esplanade, and open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admissions is $7 for adults, $5 for children and students, and free for CSU, Chico students and museum members. For more information, call 530-898-5130 or visit

Those who require an accommodation in order to visit the Gateway Science Museum or who have questions about accessibility may contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.