A 363-foot projection of a rocket will be flashed on one side of the Washington Monument next week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is sponsoring events to honor the Apollo 11 mission of July 20, 1969. The mission, which launched astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins from Earth on a Saturn V rocket, culminated with Aldrin and Armstrong successfully landing on the moon.
Part of the commemoration includes “Apollo 50 Festival” live performances, exhibits and speakers. Those events will take place July 18 to 20 on the Mall between Fourth and Seventh streets NW.
As part of the celebration, the image of a 363-foot Saturn V rocket will be projected on the east side of the Washington Monument from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. on July 16, July 17 and July 18.
On July 19 and 20 at the monument, a free show with archival footage will “re-create the launch of Apollo 11 and tell the story of the first moon landing,” the Smithsonian said. The show runs at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 p.m. both nights.
The event is being sponsored by the Air and Space Museum and the Department of the Interior and will be produced by 59 Productions, which has handled the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and other high-profile events.
In a statement, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said: “Almost 50 years ago, the Apollo 11 mission captivated the world as two American astronauts were the first to step foot on the moon, forever changing space exploration.”