Apollo 11 tribute features stunning projections onto Washington Monument

A show celebrating 50 years since the Apollo 11 moon landing captivated crowds on the National Mall Friday night by turning the Washington Monument into a towering movie screen.

A true-to-size, 363-foot-tall Saturn V rocket was projected onto the 555-foot-tall monument.

When it was shown firing its engines and launching, a crowd that had gathered on the Mall cheered and applauded.

In addition to the rocket lifting off, the crowd saw various stages of the rocket separating, the lunar landing itself, and the crew’s splashdown back on Earth.

The event was conceived and commissioned by the National Air and Space Museum and includes recreations and archival footage.

“I thought it was amazing. It brought back so many memories,” said Shawn McCahey, who is visiting from Chicago. “I was 13 when this happened, and I still remember it, and that was an incredible experience.”

Zandy Williams, of Fairfax County, Virginia, agreed.

“It was very moving … I was 6 years old at my grandmother’s house watching them land on the moon. I still have vivid memories of seeing Neil Armstrong when he first stepped on the moon,” said Williams.

The 17-minute show was projected onto the monument three times Friday night. There will be three more showings Saturday night at 9:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

In this photo provided by NASA, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission is celebrated in a 17-minute show, "Apollo 50: Go for the Moon" which combined full-motion projection-mapping artwork on the Washington Monument and archival footage to recreate the launch of Apollo 11 and tell the story of the first moon landing, Friday, July 19, 2019, in Washington. (NASA/Bill Ingalls via AP)
In this photo provided by NASA, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission is celebrated in a 17-minute show, “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon” which combined full-motion projection-mapping artwork on the Washington Monument and archival footage to recreate the launch of Apollo 11 and tell the story of the first moon landing, Friday, July 19, 2019, in Washington. (NASA/Bill Ingalls via AP) (AP/Bill Ingalls)
An image of a 363-foot Saturn V rocket used in the Apollo 11 mission, blasting off, is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
An image of a 363-foot Saturn V rocket used in the Apollo 11 mission, blasting off, is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
An image of a 363-foot Saturn V rocket used in the Apollo 11 mission, blasting off, is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
An image of a 363-foot Saturn V rocket used in the Apollo 11 mission, blasting off, is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
An image of a 363-foot Saturn V rocket used in the Apollo 11 mission, blasting off, is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
An image of a 363-foot Saturn V rocket used in the Apollo 11 mission, blasting off, is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
Neil Armstrong foot print on the rocky Moon is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Neil Armstrong foot print on the rocky Moon is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
The Apollo 11 mission entering to earth landing with parachutes in the ocean, is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
The Apollo 11 mission entering to earth landing with parachutes in the ocean, is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
The Moon is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
The Moon is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
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In this photo provided by NASA, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission is celebrated in a 17-minute show, "Apollo 50: Go for the Moon" which combined full-motion projection-mapping artwork on the Washington Monument and archival footage to recreate the launch of Apollo 11 and tell the story of the first moon landing, Friday, July 19, 2019, in Washington. (NASA/Bill Ingalls via AP)
An image of a 363-foot Saturn V rocket used in the Apollo 11 mission, blasting off, is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
An image of a 363-foot Saturn V rocket used in the Apollo 11 mission, blasting off, is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
An image of a 363-foot Saturn V rocket used in the Apollo 11 mission, blasting off, is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Neil Armstrong foot print on the rocky Moon is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
The Apollo 11 mission entering to earth landing with parachutes in the ocean, is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
The Moon is projected on the Washington Monument, during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing festivities at the National Mall in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

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