Apollo 11 tribute ‘Go for the Moon’ set for National Mall

An image of the Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket cast upon one side of the Washington Monument. (Mike Jordan/BPE)

WASHINGTON – Standing at a height of 555 feet, the Washington Monument eclipses the elevation of a Saturn V rocket by almost 200 feet. But it is that towering perspective which makes the monument a perfect backdrop for “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon” – this weekend’s stirring tribute to Apollo 11.

“Apollo 50” is scheduled to blast off this Friday and Saturday with what some are calling an out of this world 50th-anniversary celebration of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

The projection and accompanying presentation will be on the Washington Monument through July 20th between 9:30 pm and 11:30 pm.

On Wednesday, moments before sunset, workers on the National Mall were seen making last-minute sound checks for “Go for the Moon.” The show will take place at the viewing area between 9th and 12th streets. The audio portion of the show features archival recordings, including snippets of President John F. Kennedy’s famous “We choose to go to the moon” speech.

Not long after sunset, the lights dimmed and a massive Saturn 5 rocket was projected on the side of the Washington Monument. The high definition image was complete with animated off-gassing from the would-be rockets fuel load.

According to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum website:

“It all builds up to July 19 and 20 when we will present “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon,” a 17-minute show that will combine full-motion projection mapping artwork and archival footage to recreate the launch of Apollo 11 to tell the story of the first Moon landing. The show will unfold on the face of the Washington Monument and supporting screens, including a 40-foot-wide recreation of the famous Kennedy Space Center countdown clock.

“The free show will run at 9:30 pm, 10:30 pm, and 11:30 pm on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20. Experience “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon” from viewing areas on the National Mall in front of the Smithsonian Castle between 9th and 12th Streets.”

For more information, please visit Go for the Moon.

WASHINGTON D.C.- A Saturn 5 rocket is projected on the Washington Monument during the 50th anniversary celebration of Apollo 11's moon landing. (PHOTO/Mike Jordan)
(Credit Mike Jordan/BPE)