WASHINGTON – 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 a series of 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. The events will take place July 18-20 on the Mall.
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.
There will also be a free show that will have “archival footage to re-create the launch of Apollo 11 and tell the story of the first moon landing,” according to Smithsonian officials. The show will also have a “re-creation of the famous Kennedy Space Center countdown clock.”
Viewers can see the show from areas on the Mall in front of the Smithsonian Castle.
The event is being sponsored by the Air and Space Museum along with the Department of the Interior and will be produced by 59 Productions, which has handled the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games 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.”