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Apollo 50th celebrations to span 50 states, Times Square, Washington Monument

By Robert Z. Pearlman
July 11, 2019, 2:53:37 PM EDT

The Washington Monument will transform into a Saturn V rocket, Times Square will turn into Tranquility Base and the "Eagle" will land nightly at the Rose Bowl in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

More than 250 events spanning all 50 of the United States and countries around the world are set to launch over the next two weeks to mark the half century since Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins made history on the first moon landing mission. From local libraries to renowned public venues, the celebrations include specially-composed concerts, astronaut appearances, multi-day festivals and gala dinners, as well as screenings, statue dedications and even world-record rocket launches.

collectSPACE.com has compiled a calendar of many of the Apollo 11 50th anniversary events but here are some of the highlights.

apollo 50

The National Air and Space Museum will use projection mapping to transform the Washington Monument into a Saturn V rocket to mark 50 years since the moon landing, July 16-20, 2019.(Image: © Smithsonian)


The Washington Monument will transform into a Saturn V rocket, Times Square will turn into Tranquility Base and the "Eagle" will land nightly at the Rose Bowl in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

More than 250 events spanning all 50 of the United States and countries around the world are set to launch over the next two weeks to mark the half century since Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins made history on the first moon landing mission. From local libraries to renowned public venues, the celebrations include specially-composed concerts, astronaut appearances, multi-day festivals and gala dinners, as well as screenings, statue dedications and even world-record rocket launches.

Capital countdown

On Friday (July 5), President Donald Trump signed into law a bill authorizing the use of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the moon landing. The Apollo 50 Festival, hosted by the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and NASA with support from Boeing and Raytheon, will run from July 18 through July 20 — the latter, the 50th anniversary of the landing and moon walk.

The festival stage and 20 tented displays will host hands-on exhibits and activities provided by the space agency, Lego and PBS's "Ready Jet Go!" as well as speakers including astronauts and scientists, Mythbuster Adam Savage and more.

Beginning July 16 — the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch — through July 18, a full-sized, 363-foot-tall (110-meter) Saturn V rocket will be projected onto the east face of the Washington Monument from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. EDT.

Then, on July 19 and 20, a special 17-minute show, "Apollo 50: Go for the Moon," will combine full-motion projection-mapping artwork on the monument and archival footage on screens on the National Mall to recreate the launch of Apollo 11 and tell the story of the first moon landing.

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