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Nation & World

For Apollo 11's 50th Anniversary, The Washington Monument Becomes A Rocket

The Smithsonian celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch by projecting a 363-foot visual rocket.
The Smithsonian celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch by projecting a 363-foot visual rocket.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with a life-size projection of the Saturn V rocket on the Washington Monument on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

A number of people showed up to watch and celebrate.
Shuran Huang / NPR
A number of people showed up to watch and celebrate.

The Saturn V rocket is now iconic for carrying the Apollo 11 crew to the moon in 1969. The projection-mapping artwork will occupy 363 of the monument's 555 vertical feet.

On Friday and Saturday, the semi-centennial show will switch to a 17-minute film that re-creates the Apollo 11 launch.

Congress authorized the display on June 20.

Saturn V
Shuran Huang / NPR

Sanjeewa and Heather Wickramarachi enjoy their time at the display.
Shuran Huang / NPR
Sanjeewa and Heather Wickramarachi enjoy their time at the display.

"Through House Joint Resolution 60, Congress requested a one-time series of arrangements for displays on the National Mall and the Washington Monument to showcase this incredible achievement in our nation's history, and we're pleased to partner with the National Air and Space Museum so all can relive the moment," Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a museum press release.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sarah and Mark Moser traveled from Oakland, Calif., and were excited to see the projection. "I remember we watched the launch on TV when we were kids," Mark Moser said.
Shuran Huang / NPR
Sarah and Mark Moser traveled from Oakland, Calif., and were excited to see the projection. "I remember we watched the launch on TV when we were kids," Mark Moser said.

Saturn V
Shuran Huang / NPR

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