The Washington Monument Is Transforming Into a Rocket Ship for the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing


In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch, the Washington Monument in D.C. is becoming a gigantic projection of the Saturn V rocket ship in flight.

A 363-foot projection of the shuttle will appear on the 555-foot national monument through Thursday evening, from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. each night. On Friday and Saturday nights, the monument will become the backdrop for a 17-minute show recreating the launch of the spacecraft. The show will run at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 p.m. each night.

The show is called “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon” and combines “full-motion projection mapping artwork and archival footage to recreate the launch of Apollo 11 and tell the story of the first Moon landing,” according to the National Air and Space Museum, which is organizing the projection. The show will project across the Washington Monument and a few supporting screens, including one of the Kennedy Space Center countdown clock that will spread 40 feet wide.

“It began as the idea that these two images would make a really unforgettable visual for the anniversary that might drive home the scale of the accomplishment for people who weren’t there to see it first hand,” Nicholas Partridge, Public Affairs Specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, told USA Today.

Viewing areas for the show will be around the National Mall in front of the Smithsonian Castle, between Ninth and 12th Streets.



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