Thousands attend 50th anniversary of moon landing at Parkes Radio Telescope

Fifty years ago - as reported by the Parkes Champion Post on July 21, 1969 - Parkes was "moon struck" - 'The main street during the lunch break was like Parkes at Melbourne Cup time - deserted!'

Fifty years on the town - and the country - is "moon struck" again after celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission.

That day, July 21, in Australia was called "Moon Walk Day" - as described by the Champion Post - and the thousands who flocked to the Parkes Radio Telescope on the weekend for the anniversary proves that science, astronomy and space travel are still as popular as ever.

The Dish - which played an integral role in distributing the television pictures of the lunar landing to the world - opened its doors to an estimated 19,500 people over both days for the anniversary.

Along with numerous activities across the grounds, the tours of inside the Dish were very popular among the visitors, as were the science talks.

Thousands also gathered to listen to Adelaide astronaut Dr Andrew Thomas and for the official ceremony on Sunday.