Chasing the Moon screening event - July 16, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2019 Contact: Marie Cheek Community Relations Coordinator Culture & Heritage Museums of York County, SC 803.818.6767

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11

Museum of York County celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch with “Chasing the Moon” screening event on July 16


ROCK HILL, S.C. – Museum of York County is partnering with South Carolina ETV and the ETV Endowment of South Carolina to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch to the moon. A special “Chasing the Moon” screening event is planned for July 16 in the museum’s Settlemyre Planetarium.

“Chasing the Moon” is a new, six-hour documentary film by Robert Stone. Part of PBS’ “American Experience” series, the film traces the space race from its earliest beginnings to the monumental achievement of the first lunar landing in 1969 and beyond. The film’s premiere is scheduled to air on SCETV in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the “one giant leap for mankind.” Museum of York County is one of five hosts across the state partnering with SCETV and ETV Endowment’s engagement campaign for “Chasing the Moon.” Museum of York County will offer four screeners - shortened previews of the film, as part of the July 16 event.

Registration is required for the 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. “Chasing the Moon” screening event at Museum of York County. Guest speakers - Major General Charles Bolden and Dr. Varsha P. Kulkarni will be available for comments and a meet-&-greet reception with light refreshments following two extended screeners. SCETV’s Beryl Dakers will moderate the post screening conversations. Registration is free with general museum admission; there is limited seating. To register, go

About the guest speakers:

Maj. Gen. Bolden, a former NASA astronaut, flew on four historic Space Shuttle missions and became the first African-American to lead NASA. During 2009-2017, Bolden helped define NASA's vision for the exploration of Mars and is also the first human being to have his voice broadcast on the surface of Mars.

Dr. Varsha P. Kulkarni, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of South Carolina, has performed extensive research in extragalactic astrophysics, especially distant galaxies and their environments, using NASA facilities such as the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes.

Beryl Dakers is executive director of South Carolina ETV’s cultural programming, creator of ETV’s popular “NatureScene” and one of the state’s most influential broadcasters and documentary filmmakers.

Dr. Cassandra Runyon, director of NASA South Carolina Space Grant Consortium, will have a moon rock and two meteorites, which have hit Earth – one from Mars and one from the moon, on display throughout the day. Although attendees will only be able to view the moon rock, they will be able to touch the rock fragments from the meteorites. Runyon, an associate professor of geology at the College of Charleston, has done extensive work for NASA, researching volcanic features on terrestrial planets and the effects of near earth space debris on spacecraft materials. She also contributed to the initial work in human-robotic missions to the Moon and Mars. Accompanying Runyon will be Rev. Dr. Greg Snyder, a former research professor for the University of Tennessee in the area of planetary geology and geochemistry. Both Runyon and Snyder will be on hand to present the rocks and answer questions from attendees on July 16 at the museum.

Additional 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch celebratory activities will be offered at the Museum of York County with no required registration on July 16, but with a limited access, first come - first served basis that is free with general museum admission. Shorter screeners of “Chasing the Moon” will run earlier in the day. Two sessions of Apollo 11 Blast Off activities, where kids make and launch stomp mini- rockets, are planned at 10:15 a.m. and at 11:15 a.m. The Central Carolina Rocketry Club will be launching model rockets at 12:22 p.m. outdoors and across the street from the museum at Dutchman Creek Middle School. Visit or call 803.329.2121 for more details.

Museum of York County is located at 4621 Mt. Gallant Road, Rock Hill, S.C. 29732

General admission: Adults $8, Seniors $7, Youth $5, FREE to CHM members & ages 3 & younger

IMAGE: Part of PBS’ “American Experience” series, Robert Stone’s “Chasing the Moon.” Image courtesy of South Carolina ETV.


About the Museum of York County: The Museum of York County highlights the natural history of the Carolina Piedmont and its connections to the rest of the world. The Naturalist Center, with over 2,000 natural history specimens, provides hands-on opportunities for self-guided discovery and educational programs. The Settlemyre Planetarium is one of only three full-dome digital planetariums in the Charlotte Metro area. The Museum Store has a selection of local handmade pottery, S.C. produced food products, and nature-themed gifts for children. Outside, the museum has a picnic facility, a three-quarter mile nature trail and a Monarch Waystation. The Museum of York County is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is a Smithsonian affiliate. ###