KSC Visitor Complex Unveils Moon Tree Garden, ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ Statue to Honor Apollo 11 Crew
By Space Coast Daily // July 14, 2019
12 trees in Moon Tree Garden represent each crewed Apollo mission, grown from seeds that orbited Moon
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: New features have been added at Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Mission.
(NASA) – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex kicked off the Apollo 11 50th anniversary celebrations by unveiling the Moon Tree Garden, a dramatic new accent to the grounds of the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
The garden, which features 12 trees grown from seeds that orbited the Moon, also includes a George Lundeen sculpture that depicts Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins in their space suits.
The statue, titled “The Eagle has Landed,” is a gift to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex from Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest mortgage lender.
“As the nation’s top mortgage lender, we treat the impossible as an opportunity,” said Casey Hurbis, chief marketing officer of Rocket Mortgage. “We presented this statue to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to honor the courage and importance of the Apollo 11 mission, who achieved the impossible by landing man on the Moon and into the annals of history.”
The Moon Trees were provided by Rosemary Roosa, daughter of veteran Apollo 14 astronaut Stuart Roosa, and president of the nonprofit Moon Tree Foundation.
The foundation was created in honor of her father, who took seeds from loblolly pine, sycamore, sweet gum, redwood, and Douglas fir trees on his space mission as part of a joint U.S. Forest Service/NASA project. The seeds, which have all orbited the Moon, were later germinated and planted around the world to share the story of the mission.
Since then, the Moon Tree Foundation continues to fulfill its mission by planting second-generation “Moon Trees” all over the world.
The 12 trees in the Moon Tree Garden represent each crewed Apollo mission. The garden also includes a carving made from the original Moon Tree planted at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex that was lost during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
“We are excited to kick off our Apollo 11 celebrations at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex by officially opening the new Moon Tree Garden,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
“The garden and the life-size sculpture of the Apollo 11 crew are tributes to the outstanding accomplishments of the Apollo Program.”
At the center of the Moon Tree Garden, the seven-foot-tall bronze statue is set upon a four-foot-tall concrete base, which features an engraving that honors the Apollo 11 crew and all those who made their historic spaceflight possible.
Other enhancements at the Apollo/Saturn V Center include a closer look at Lunar Module 9 and Command and Service Module 119, projection mapping on the side of the Saturn V Rocket, a 1969 period living room and bar scene, and much more.
The opening of the Moon Tree Garden is the first of many events taking place to mark the Apollo 11 50th anniversary. On July 15, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will host a transformation celebration of the reimagined Apollo/Saturn V Center.
During the “Apollo 11 Launch Flashback Event Presented by CBS” on July 16, guests will re-live the excitement and anticipation of the moment the Apollo 11 astronauts lifted off for their historic mission to the Moon.
The crowd will cheer along with Walter Cronkite as they watch the original CBS broadcast of the launch.
Additionally, a July 20 extravaganza will mark the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing and a final welcome home event on July 24 will commemorate the day the Apollo 11 astronauts returned to Earth.
For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
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