Heard on the Hill

D.C. is over the moon about 50th anniversary of Apollo 11

The week’s events are out of this world

A collection of Barbie dolls celebrating the moon landing anniversary is on display on Wednesday at the “Barbie Pond on Avenue Q,” outside a house in Washington. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Fifty years ago, two Americans, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, made history as the first people to ever step onto the surface of the moon (or onto a movie set, depending on which side of the conspiracy spectrum you fall on). This week our nation’s capital is siding with space and celebrating the lunar mission that took place in July 1969.

In honor of the milestone anniversary, the National Air and Space Museum is projecting a 363-foot image of Saturn V, the rocket that launched the Apollo 11 crew, onto the east side of the Washington Monument. On Friday and Saturday, the museum will host even more theatrics, recreating the Kennedy Space Center countdown clock on the National Mall. 

UNITED STATES - JULY 16: The image of a Saturn V, the rocket that sent Apollo 11 into orbit on July 16, 1969, is projected on the Washington Monument on Tuesday July 16, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
The image of a Saturn V, the rocket that sent Apollo 11 into orbit on July 16, 1969, is projected on the Washington Monument on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The Washington Monument isn’t the only slender figure in D.C. lauding the lunar landing.

The “Barbies on Avenue Q” have been caught with their party pants on (err...off). On Wednesday morning, the dolls gathered around a triumphant astronaut Barbie, praising her for completing her mission. Another Barbie cheers from her lunar lander convertible. The dolls are a familiar fixture of the Logan Circle neighborhood, celebrating holidays throughout the year at the hands of an anonymous designer.

While the Barbies were celebrating, Capitol Hill was going about its usual business. NASA administrator and former Republican congressman Jim Bridenstine urged the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday to consider a 2020 spending plan that would allow the U.S. to return to the moon. The U.S. hasn’t had a moon lander since 1972, Bridenstine complained. 

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