Reliving the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in Pictures

By Anonymous
Science|Reliving the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in Pictures

[Read all Times reporting on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. | Sign up for the weekly Science Times email.]

The moon is at once so close and so far.

Neil Armstrong’s photograph of Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface remains one of the most recognizable and enduring images in history, in part because so few people have been to the place where that picture was taken. The privilege of taking steps on our closest heavenly neighbor belongs (so far) to a tiny, exclusive cohort of a dozen individuals.

The two astronauts spent just over 20 hours on the moon, after three days of space travel and years of preparation, planning and practice. And then they came back, having forever expanded the way humankind sees itself. Five decades later the moon landing, as achievement and notion, remains mind-boggling.

Luckily for the rest of us, the astronauts packed cameras, so that NASA could properly document its greatest triumph. Think of it as the most epic vacation slide show ever made.

Apollo 11’s story may be a familiar yarn but, told in pictures, it continues to be a spellbinder. Have a look.


ImageReliving the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in Pictures
John C. Houbolt, a NASA engineer, explaining his lunar-orbit-rendezvous concept for moon landings in 1962.CreditNASA
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Buzz Aldrin during zero-gravity training in 1969 aboard a KC-135 jet aircraft that took off from Patrick Air Force Base in Florida.CreditNASA
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The Lunar Orbit and Landing Approach simulator, built in the early 1960s, was used to help solve problems of landing on the moon.CreditNASA
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A model of the Apollo 11 lunar module at Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation. July 1969.CreditCBS Photo Archive/Getty Images
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Michael Collins, right, receiving a tour of the Lunar Receiving Lab at the Manned Spacecraft Center in 1967.CreditJSC/NASA
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Mr. Aldrin, left, holding a tool designed for picking up rock or dirt samples from the surface of the moon during a dress rehearsal.CreditBettmann, via Getty Images
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Neil Armstrong practiced getting back on the first rung of the Apollo lunar module.CreditNASA
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The Saturn V rocket carrying Apollo 11 on the mobile launch platform on its way to Launch Complex 39A at Cape Canaveral on May 17, 1969.CreditSspl/Getty Images
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Crowds gathered to view the July 16 rocket launch.CreditMario De Biasi/Mondadori Portfolio, via Getty
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The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, followed by Hosea Williams, led a march with members of the Poor People’s Campaign at the site of the launch.CreditBettmann, via Getty Images
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Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, right, and former President Lyndon B. Johnson during Apollo 11’s launch.CreditNASA
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The Saturn V rocket weighed 6.2 million pounds when fully fueled and generated 7.6 million pounds of thrust.CreditNASA, via Getty
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Watching liftoff from the Launch Control Center, three and a half miles from the launchpad.CreditNASA
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The command module, Columbia, photographed from the lunar lander. CreditNASA
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Neil Armstrong in the lunar lander Eagle.CreditNASA
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The Eagle’s shadow cast on the surface.CreditNASA
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Television footage beamed from the moon was photographed in order to get images for the front page of The New York Times on July 21, 1969, that announced the astronauts’ moon walk.CreditMichael Evans/The New York Times
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Buzz Aldrin described the moon as “magnificent desolation.”CreditNASA
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Mr. Aldrin descending from the Eagle.CreditNASA
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Mr. Aldrin photographed his footprint on the moon.CreditNASA
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Though Neil Armstrong took many photos during the moonwalk, he appeared in only a handful, such as this one, where he is reflected in Mr. Aldrin’s visor.CreditNASA
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Joan Aldrin, Buzz Aldrin’s wife, in Houston watching the televised mission.CreditLee Balterman/The LIFE Picture Collection, via Getty
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The Apollo 11 astronauts took many photographs of the moon’s surface during orbit, for the study of regional lunar geology, as well as lunar mapping and geodetic studies. They also helped train astronauts for future lunar missions.CreditNASA
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The crescent Earth upon return. CreditNASA
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The command module Columbia, being retrieved by the U.S.S. Hornet in the Pacific Ocean on July 24.CreditNASA
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A cake-cutting ceremony for the Apollo 11 astronauts, who participated from the mobile quarantine facility.CreditNASA
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A ukelele helped Neil Armstrong pass the time in the quarantine unit.CreditNASA
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A parade in Mexico City in September 1969.
As part of a Presidential Goodwill Tour, the astronauts and their wives visited 24 countries and 27 cities in 45 days.
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The astronauts had an audience with Pope Paul VI in the Papal Library, St. Peter’s Cathedral at the Vatican in October 1969.CreditNASA
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A ticker tape parade on Broadway in New York City, Aug. 13, 1969.CreditJack Manning/The New York Times