How cool: Rocket that took Americans to the moon to be projected on Washington Monument

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WASHINGTON (Gray News) – The National Air and Space Museum is going big for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

For five days, the Smithsonian will project a full-sized Saturn V rocket on the east face of the Washington Monument.

“Almost 50 years ago, the Apollo 11 mission captivated the world as two American astronauts were the first to step foot on the moon, forever changing space exploration,” said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

The Washington Monument measures some 555 feet tall and is 55 feet wide at the base – a perfect backdrop for the 363-foot Saturn V.

The projection will be visible on July 16, 17 and 18 from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. ET.

It’s all a preview for the main attraction the following two nights, when “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon,” will be shown on the National Mall.

The 17-minute show will combine full-motion projection-mapping artwork on the monument and archival footage on massive screens flanking it, to recreate the launch of Apollo 11 and tell the story of the first moon landing.

The showings will be at 9:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and 11:30 p.m. on July 19 and 20.

Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy in Florida on July 16, 1969. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon four days later. Astronaut Michael Collins orbited above the lunar surface in the command module.

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