Charlottesville PBS Station Offers Free Event Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing | Community Idea Stations


Charlottesville PBS Station Offers Free Event Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing


Join WVPT and WHTJ PBS for a documentary screening and panel discussion with distinguished scientists and scholars at Light House Studio/Vinegar Hill Theatre on July 12 at 7 p.m. Event is free, but registration is required.


For information:


Charlottesville, Va. - Fifty years ago this July, Apollo 11 landed on the moon as a nation watched in wonder. This summer, in celebration of the golden anniversary, PBS and “American Experience” present the multi-night documentary event “Chasing the Moon." The series, produced by award-winning filmmaker Robert Stone, tells the story of the Space Race through interviews with key players and archival footage, some of it newly unearthed and never before seen. 

Space enthusiasts and history buffs are invited to Charlottesville’s Light House Studio/Vinegar Hill Theatre on Friday, July 12 at 7 p.m. for a special 45-minute screening and panel discussion with distinguished experts representing the past, present, and future of space research and exploration. 

Edward Murphy, UVA Astronomy Professor and Director of the McCormick Observatory, will provide welcoming remarks and introduce the film. Joining Murphy for the post-film panel discussion will be:


  • Larry Fredrick, Former Chair, UVA Astronomy Department, Former Director of McCormick Observatory
  • Christopher P. Goyne, UVA Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Director, Aerospace Laboratory/Libertas CubeSat Spacecraft Project
  • Charlie Jones, Retired Army Command Sergeant Major
  • Erin Puckette, UVA 2019 Aerospace Engineering Graduate, Virginia CubeSat Constellation Lead
  • Carrie Rhoads, NASA Langley Research Center, Flight Systems Engineer


‘Chasing the Moon’ explores the Space Race in a new way. The film celebrates the immense achievement of the moon landing, but it also looks at the political and technical missteps, the financial challenges and all of the things that almost derailed the American effort along the way,” explains Science Matters Director Debbie Mickle. “And what’s really powerful is how this story has particular relevance for us today. It's inspiring to see how men and women in the ‘50s and ‘60s, at the height of the Cold War and at a time of great division over the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, were able to achieve one single moment that inspired and brought together a divided nation."

Registration information for the July 12th event is available at

Watch the entire 3-part series “Chasing the Moon” on WHTJ/WCVE PBS and WVPT PBS on July 8, 9, and 10 from 9 to 11 p.m. WCVW/WVPY PBS will present the episodes back to back on the anniversary of the moon landing on June 20 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Full local listings are available at

“Chasing the Moon” is part of the PBS Summer of Space. Information on this and other PBS Summer of Space programming is available at


About the Community Idea Stations:

The Community Idea Stations, the largest locally owned and operated public media company in central Virginia, provides the best of PBS and NPR programming coupled with a strong set of community-based programs and services to make an important impact in the areas of arts, news, history, science, and education. Each week, the stations reach over 300,000 people throughout central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. 

The stations offer television programming throughout the region on stations including WCVE/WHTJ PBS, WCVW/WVPY PBS, WVPT PBS, PBS Kids 24/7, lifestyle channel Create TV, and international program channel MHz Worldview. 

In Richmond, the Community Idea Stations also broadcasts on radio. WCVE News provides Morning Edition, All Things Considered, as well as NPR talk shows and BBC News on 88.9 FM (HD1). WCVE Music provides classical, jazz, blues, world music, and more on 93.1 FM and 107.3 FM (HD2). 

More information can be found at




Media Contact:
Sarah Yount
(804) 560-8232