Monday, July 22, 2019

Apollo 50 - Go for the Moon

This past weekend we braved crazy hot temps and an electrical storm to watch Apollo 50: Go for the Moon on the DC Mall. I knew the show included a projection of a Saturn V rocket onto the Washington Monument, but other than that, I had no idea what else we'd see.

The 17 minute presentation turned out to be a sound and screen extravaganza. At just a little over 555 feet tall and 55 feet wide, it's hard to imagine using the Washington Monument as a screen with its crazy 10:1 aspect ratio. And yet, the creators of Go for the Moon did just this and did it well. As impressive, if not more so, was the use of sound; which really made the whole experience visceral.

While the content they displayed was archival footage, almost all of it I'd seen before, the format and communal experience brought it to life.

A couple, one of whom worked for NASA and the other JPL, sat in front of us and provided for interesting discussion before the show started. Even the electrical storm in the distance added to the show, proving that nature isn't to be outdone. Luckily, the storm that provided the lightning never made it to us, so we all stayed dry.

It was a remarkable event. But don't be bummed if you missed it, you can catch it on YouTube here. And while you won't see it on quite the scale of the original production, you should have the benefit of watching with air conditioning and the knowledge that you're not going to be struck by lightning. Here's an interesting video that explains the show's setup.

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