A young visitor flies a space shuttle landing simulator in the Aerospace Exploration Gallery at the AERO Institute in Palmdale during Thursday Night on the Square. (NASA Photo / Gray Creech) NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center is supporting the City of Palmdale's annual Thursday Nights on the Square event held at Poncitlan Square in the Palmdale Civic Center. This year's event, which runs for eight weeks through Aug. 20, includes NASA Dryden exhibits and materials at the AERO Institute facility at the south end of the square.
NASA's activities focus on different themes each week, including the 40th Anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing, celebration of the International Polar Year, and the planting of a "moon tree," a sycamore tree that was germinated from trees grown from seeds that orbited the moon aboard the Apollo 14 Command Module.
The tree planting at the facility, scheduled for Aug. 13, is in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the landing of the Apollo 11 lunar module "Eagle" and the first human steps on the moon by NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin on July 20, 1969.
The Aerospace Exploration Gallery at the AERO Institute is open each Thursday evening during Thursday Nights on the Square, featuring glimpses of NASA's exciting past, present, and future. Displays include the refurbished forward fuselage and cockpit of an AV-8 Harrier jet, a representation of flight research activities in the Antelope Valley circa 1949, a space shuttle flight simulator for visitors to fly, and other displays depicting various aspects of aerospace exploration.