The Washington Monument has been transformed into a stunning tribute to the first moon landing through a dazzling series of projections.
Crowds packed the National Mall to watch the 17-minute show, which was projected three times each on Friday and Saturday, marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.
Cheers rose from the crowd as the Saturn V rocket was seen lifting off.
The show also included various scenes of the stages separating, the moon landing, and splash-down as the hero astronauts returned to Earth.
The launch of the Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket is projected onto the Washington Monument and additional screens on the National Mall by in Washington, DC on Friday
The event, ‘Apollo 50: Go for the Moon’ is one of many events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission
An image of a 363-foot Saturn V rocket used in the Apollo 11 mission, blasting off, is projected on the Washington Monument
A cheer rose from the crowd packing the National Mall as the projected image of the Saturn V was seen taking off
‘I thought it was amazing. It brought back so many memories,’ Shawn McCahey, who was visiting from Chicago, told WTOP-FM of the show.
‘I was 13 when this happened, and I still remember it, and that was an incredible experience,’ he said.
‘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 Zandy Williams, of Fairfax County, Virginia.
Meanwhile, the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s ‘giant leap’ by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin was also celebrated at parties, races, ball games and concerts around the world.
The image of the moon is seen projected on the monument during the 17-minute light show
The third stage and CSM of the Saturn V are seen traveling toward the moon after stage separation
The Apollo 11 Lunar lander approaching to the moon is projected on the Washington Monument
The Apollo 11 Lunar lander touching down the moon is projected on the Washington Monument
Neil Armstrong’s foot print on the rocky Moon is projected on the Washington Monument for the 50th anniversary
At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Aldrin showed Vice President Mike Pence the launch pad where he flew to the moon in 1969.
At the same time halfway around the world, an American and two other astronauts blasted into space on a Russian rocket. And in Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio, nearly 2,000 runners competed in ‘Run to the Moon’ races.
‘Apollo 11 is the only event in the 20th century that stands a chance of being widely remembered in the 30th century,’ the vice president said.
Wapakoneta 10K runner Robert Rocco, 54, a retired Air Force officer from Centerville, Ohio, called the moon landing by Armstrong and Aldrin ‘perhaps the most historic event in my lifetime, maybe in anybody’s lifetime.’
The Apollo 11 mission entering the Earth’s atmosphere is projected on the Washington Monument
The command module returns for splash-down with parachutes at the completion of the Apollo 11 mission
At the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Gilda Warden sat on a bench and gazed in awe at the Apollo 11 command module, Columbia, on display. ‘It’s like entering the Sistine Chapel and seeing the ceiling. You want to just sit there and take it in,’ said Warden, 63, a psychiatric nurse from Tacoma, Washington.
On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin undocked from Columbia in lunar orbit and then descended in the lunar module Eagle to the Sea of Tranquility.
The Eagle landed with just 17 seconds of fuel to spare. Six hours later, Armstrong was the first to step onto the lunar surface, proclaiming for the ages: ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’ It was humanity’s first footsteps on another world.
The era-defining event was watched by more than half a billion people around the world, and represented one of humanity’s greatest achievements.