‘Once-in-a-lifetime’ light show on Washington Monument to mark Apollo 11

July 16, 2019

For five nights in late July, the Washington Monument will transform into a Saturn V rocket bound for the Moon.

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum revealed plans for a “once-in-a-lifetime” dazzling light show on the National Mall commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. Click here to see an enlarged version of the photo.

From Tuesday, July 16 to Thursday, July 18 between 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., an image of the 363-foot Saturn V rocket which launched Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin into orbit will be projected on the east side of the Washington Monument, facing the Capitol building.

That weekend, the launch will come to life with a full-motion projection blending archival footage of the original launch and Moon landing with artwork in a 17-minute event titled “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon.”

Supporting screens, including a 40-foot-wide recreation of the Kennedy Space Center countdown clock, will be set up on the National Mall for the show, which will run at 9:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20.

“Go for the Moon” will be free to attend, with viewing areas available on the National Mall between the Smithsonian Castle and National Museum of Natural History.

The show was commissioned by the Air and Space Museum through a partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior and 59 Productions. Boeing and Raytheon are sponsors.

A detailed map can be found on the Air and Space Museum’s website. Attendees can text Apollo50GO to 888777 for live updates on the days of the shows.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up