Fly Us to the Moon: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11

July 12, 2019
Andria Olson


                                           "This is a historic moment! You have to see it!"


This is the call of a father gathering his daughters around their black and white television to witness what would historically become the first successful landing of humans on the Moon. While I am grateful to my friend for sharing her memory, I can't help but be envious of having that memory at all. So, in an effort to recreate even a quark of the excitement launched by Apollo 11, we at Branner Library are delighted to share with you not only maps and globes of the Moon but also a collection of items donated by Robert Kovach, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics.           


                      Apollo 14 | Apollo 16 | Apollo 17

Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

In 1965, Robert Kovach was appointed Assistant Professor of Geophysics here at Stanford University and subsequently began contributing work to the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Program. In 1972, Apollo 14, 16 and 17 took place for which Professor Kovach conducted active seismic and lunar seismic profiling experiments. Each of these missions completed successful moon landings with Apollo 17 being the last time a human set foot on the Moon. Professor Kovach received the Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (ESAM) from NASA in 1973 for his contributions. 


                                                                      "Your other right."


                        The Robert Kovach Collection

Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

We can now tell you that reading the transcript of a conversation between two people walking on the Moon is one of life's small pleasures; the ironic normality of the dialogue between Charles Duke and John Young, the two astronauts piloting the lunar module for Apollo 16, will undoubtedly bring a smile to your face. Along with this transcript, Professor Kovach also donated a rover film reel and many images from this mission. From Apollo 14 and 17, he has provided us with an additional film reel along with mission reports.


                                        Display Details

Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

We have paired Professor Kovach's collection with a selection of maps and photomaps from Branner Library's map collection. These will allow you to track the rover movements from Apollo 16 and 17 with the added challenge of then locating these landing sites on a comprehensive map of the Moon. From this display case, we invite you to visit the mezzanine to explore additional Moon maps and globes on view. 

This selection will be on display through the month of July, and we are open Monday-Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. 


Never Stop Exploring

NASA Image and Video Library

Stanford University: Digitized Moon Maps

Lunar Surface Experiments Package Arrays and Status

Interface Meeting on Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Program

A Brief History of Geophysics at Stanford University by Robert Kovach