Fifty years after Apollo 11 landed on the Moon in July 1969, United Airlines stands with the nation in celebration of this milestone anniversary. Beginning today and continuing throughout July, the airline, in coordination with Houston First Corporation, Space Center Houston, NASA Johnson Space Center and OTG will provide customers with a variety of opportunities to learn about and celebrate space exploration.
“From the moment former President John F. Kennedy made a bold commitment to further U.S. space exploration efforts at Rice University in Houston, the city became part of the national dialogue about how and when we would put a man on the moon,” said Rodney Cox, vice president for United’s Houston hub. “Not only is the Apollo 11 mission rooted in Houston’s past, it also became part of United’s history when Astronaut Neil Armstrong later served on our Board of Directors. Knowing the deep connection both United and Houston have to this historic mission, we are honored to commemorate this remarkable accomplishment with our customers.”
Planned activities include:
- Inflight entertainment: A special inflight entertainment channel with 17 dedicated space-related programs developed by NASA will be accessible on all flights with seatback entertainment and personal device entertainment as early as July 1. The channel will feature documentaries about NASA’s push to the Moon, views of Earth from the Space Station, action cam footage of NASA astronaut spacewalks and more.
- Dine like an astronaut: Two of the restaurants in United’s terminals at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston – Ember and Tanglewood Grille – will feature dishes throughout July inspired by the food items the astronauts ate on board Apollo 11. To ensure authenticity, restaurant operator OTG sent their award-winning culinary team to NASA’s Space Food Systems Laboratory in Houston to learn about and taste food prepared by NASA’s food scientists. Specialty beverages, such as Tang-infused cocktails, will also be available for customers travelling through Houston to enjoy.
- Digital takeover of Terminal C-North: For the month of July, each of the terminal’s gate lounge’s will be transformed into a digital art gallery hosting vivid photography from the Apollo 11 mission, while iPads at all OTG locations will feature an educational trivia game developed by Space Center Houston.
- Pop-up science lab experiences: From July 9-11, Space Center Houston will provide Apollo 11-themed pop-up science labs throughout United’s Terminal C and E and IAH. These interactive, hands-on exhibits will let passengers of all ages explore science and engineering in fun and educational ways during their visit to IAH.
- Astronaut meet and greet at IAH: Customers will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with retired Astronaut Ken Cameron. A NASA astronaut, engineer, U.S. Marine Corps officer and pilot, Cameron will meet and greet customers in the United Clubs July 9-11.
- Mission: Space City celebration flight: On July 17, the same day Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Buzz Aldrin made their first TV transmission from Earth to space, United will host a special celebration flight from its New York area hub at Newark Liberty International airport to Houston to recognize the historic occasion. Customers on board Flight 355 will enjoy space-themed entertainment, inflight gifts and mingle with special onboard guests who have first-hand experience in space.
- Mission: Space City social media contest: Starting today, space enthusiasts will have a chance to win two seats on board the Apollo 11 celebration flight as well as a behind the scenes tour of NASA. Click here for more information.
- MileagePlus Exclusives: Beginning July 1, customers will be able to bid miles on space-themed MileagePlus experiences such as VIP access to Space Center Houston’s Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Celebration featuring the band Walk the Moon. For more information, visit Exclusives.mileageplus.com/nasa.
“We couldn’t be prouder of the role that Houston has played in some of the world’s biggest accomplishments, like the Apollo 11 mission,” says Brenda Bazan, President and CEO of Houston First, Corp. “During Space City Month, we’re excited to welcome visitors from around the globe. Between Space Center Houston and many world class museums, our city is a great place to satisfy a love for discovery and exploration.”