The Washington Monument displayed a mesmerizing tribute for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing

wash mon 4Tom Brenner/Getty Images

  • Crowds gathered in Washington, D.C on Friday and Saturday evening to view a 17-minute video tribute projected on the Washington Monument in honor of the 50th anniverersary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
  • The show was made using projection mapping technology and archival footage to recreate the historical take-off and landing of the Saturn V rocket.
  • Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were in attendance and honored at the event for their groundbreaking space journey on June 19, 1969.
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In honor of 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum decided to transform the Washington Monument into a rocket.

On Friday and Saturday, hundreds of people crowded on the National Mall to watch a 17-minute film recreating the historical moment using full-motion projection mapping technology and archival footage from July 19, 1969. The life-size projections on the monument's facade depicted the take-off and landing of the Saturn V rocket on its journey to the moon.

Read more: Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon 50 years ago today. Here's what the astronaut remembers most about NASA's Apollo 11 mission

According to NPR, the imagery occupied 363 vertical feet of the Washington Monument's total 555 vertical feet. In the lead up to the debut of the video, a still image of the rocket had been projected on the building earlier in the week. The event was approved by Congress on June 20, NPR reported.

"Through House Joint Resolution 60, Congress requested a one-time series of arrangements for displays on the National Mall and the Washington Monument to showcase this incredible achievement in our nation's history, and we're pleased to partner with the National Air and Space Museum so all can relive the moment," Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a museum press release statement shared by NPR.

Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin were in attendance and honored during the airing of the film, titled "Apollo 50: Go for the Moon."

Here's a closer look at the experience:

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Huge crowds flooded the National Mall this weekend to catch a glimpse of the tribute.

Huge crowds flooded the National Mall this weekend to catch a glimpse of the tribute.

During the week, passersby could spot a still image of the Saturn V rocket in advance of the video showing on Friday and Saturday.

During the week, passersby could spot a still image of the Saturn V rocket in advance of the video showing on Friday and Saturday.

Visitors gathered at the base of the monument to take pictures.

Visitors gathered at the base of the monument to take pictures.

The rocket in all its glory.

The rocket in all its glory.

It looks even more majestic from a distance.

It looks even more majestic from a distance.

(Source: NPR)

3... 2... 1... blast off.

3... 2... 1... blast off.

The video included archival footage from the moon landing itself.

The video included archival footage from the moon landing itself.

It culminated in an image of the moon from earth.

It culminated in an image of the moon from earth.

Dare we say, it looked like an out-of-this-world experience.

Dare we say, it looked like an out-of-this-world experience.
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