Apollo Rocket Projected Onto Washington Monument for Anniv.

Apollo Rocket Projected Onto Washington Monument for Anniv.

News Staff

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, the National Air and Space Museum is recreating the historic moment with a life-sized projection of the Saturn V rocket on the Washington Monument.

The “once-in-a-lifetime” event is part of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

From Tuesday to Thursday, the 363-foot Saturn V rocket will be projected on the east face of the Washington Monument — the side facing the Capitol Building — for two hours each night, from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The rocket was used for NASA space missions between 1967 and 1973, including the Apollo mission that put the first man on the moon.

On Friday and Saturday, the museum will also host a 17-minute show “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon,” which combines “full-motion projection-mapping artwork on the monument and archival footage on screens on the National Mall to recreate the launch of Apollo 11,” according to a press release from the Air and Space Museum.

The free show runs three times on both nights: 9:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

You can check out the free show at the viewing areas on the National Mall in front of the Smithsonian Castle between 9th and 12th streets. The viewing area will be outfitted with full sound, projection screens and a 40-foot-wide recreation of the countdown clock that was at the Kennedy Space Center.

The “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon” presentation is a joint effort between the U.S. Department of the Interior, 59 Productions and the National Air and Space Museum.

Other parts of the Smithsonian’s 50th anniversary celebration for Apollo 11 include a five-day festival on the National Mall, featuring tents from organizations like NASA and PBS. According to a news release from the LEGO Group, LEGO will be displaying a life-size astronaut model from Thursday through Saturday, and will invite visitors to help build a 20-foot SLS Rocket out of the plastic blocks.

The National Air and Space Museum will also be displaying Neil Armstrong’s suit for the first time in 13 years, beginning Tuesday, and will be hosting a late-night celebration in the museum Saturday.