Apollo 11 Blasts Off Again on July 16th at WeChooseTheMoon.org

JFK Presidential Library Site Re-Creates Historic 1969 Mission Online and Invites the World On Board for a Four-Day Odyssey

Boston, MA – July 13, 2009 – The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is nearing the launch date of their new interactive website designed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, inspired by President Kennedy's grand vision that made the achievement possible.

WeChooseTheMoon.org, http://www.wechoosethemoon.org, will go live on July 16, 2009 at 8:02 a.m. and will take off at 9:32 a.m. – exactly 40 years to the minute after the historic launch. The site, powered by AOL, will recreate Apollo 11's lunar mission, minute by minute, with an interactive experience that lets visitors experience the mission as it happened, using archival audio, video, photos and "real-time" transmissions on the site and via Twitter.

Three Twitter Feeds to Follow

Some of the most revealing and riveting parts of the Apollo 11 journey are the conversations between the spacecraft and Houston, Houston back to the spacecraft and transmissions between Columbia and "Eagle" after they separate to descend to the lunar surface. Follow them all:

Apollo 11 to Houston = AP11_Spacecraft
Houston to Apollo 11= AP11_Capcom
Eagle to Houston & Columbia = AP11_Eagle

"When President Kennedy challenged the nation to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to earth before the end of the decade, his appeal led to one of the greatest technological achievements in U.S. history," said Tom Putnam, Director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. "WeChooseTheMoon.org will use today's technology to bring President Kennedy's vision to life, recreating the historic 1969 Apollo 11 mission and providing a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the adventure as it happened 40 years ago."

WeChooseTheMoon.org by the numbers

  • 400 NASA photographs and 44 archival videos
  • 109 hours, 24 minutes of audio transmissions streamed "as they happened"
  • Approximately 700 Mission tweets featuring real-time transmission excerpts
  • 102 hours, 45 minutes and 39.9 seconds of mission tracking
  • 11 mission-critical events rendered in stunning animation
  • 2,223 pages of declassified mission documents influence mission's authenticity

"The undertaking is pretty massive. We're joking a lot about how sending millions to the moon in cyberspace in 2009 is going to end up taking just as much time as sending three guys to the moon in 1969," said Joe Alexander, creative director at The Martin Agency. "But truly, we feel honored to be doing it. There's a real sense of purpose, living up to JFK's idea that the space race will bring out the best in us. We don't want to let JFK – in a real sense, our client – down. So there's a little pressure, which is good."

Click here for more information on President Kennedy's role in the Space Race.

To help extend the experience for users, AOL has integrated a host of special programming features and interactive tools, which are also available at http://news.aol.com/moon-landing. Highlights include:

  • AOL News, http://news.aol.com/, will feature "11 Things You May Not Know About Apollo 11," photos and additional content that will help users learn more about this moment in history.
  • AOL's popular kids' site KOL, http://www.kol.com/, is featuring special content just for the younger set. Kids can learn about the moon landing in 1969, check out photos, play space games and find links to the top space sites for children.
  • AIM, http://www.aim.com, is offering four specially-created Moon Buddy Icons.
  • AOL's social media network Bebo, http://www.bebo.com, is featuring an interactive moon profile where users can share their excitement about the countdown and the live event.
  • AOL.com, http://www.aol.com, is featuring a moon landing theme for those who want to customize their homepage during the live event.

"Putting a man on the moon was one of mankind's greatest achievements and we are proud to partner with the JFK Presidential Library and Museum and The Martin Agency to bring the historic event to life online. This site will give audiences young and old a way to experience the Apollo 11 mission as it happened by combining the latest technology and social media tools with a wealth of archival material," said Bill Wilson, president of AOL's MediaGlow. "In addition to powering the site, AOL is also promoting the online event through its vast network, which reaches more than 200 million users worldwide."

People interested in experiencing the virtual re-creation of Apollo 11 can preregister to receive event email reminders and get regular "real-time" updates during the four-day mission from July16th through July 20th. After the four-day event, the site will become a self-guided tour that visitors can explore at their own pace.

The Martin Agency conceived the WeChooseTheMoon.org site concept and partnered with Domani Studios of New York for all animation and interactive production. Hosting for WeChooseTheMoon.org is provided by AOL. Visitors to the site can also experience a four-day rebroadcast of the live radio transmissions which will be powered by AOL's SHOUTcast – an online radio directory that features more than 30,000 professional and community-programmed stations from around the world.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and supported, in part, by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, a non-profit organization. The Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and the Kennedy Library Foundation seek to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service.


Lisa Gibby
(202) 531-8222

JFK Library
Rachel Day
(617) 514-1662

The Martin Agency
Dean Jarrett
(804) 698-8806

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