Monday, July 20, 2009
Today is July 20th, and exactly 40 years ago Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. To celebrate this historic event - and before coming back tomorrow to "Disney and Space" articles - here is a selection of Apollo 121 mission pictures. And some of them are more rare than the pictures you probably saw everywhere in magazines. Most of them are old NASA pictures of course, with others from LIFE magazine.
On the first picture below, an aerial view of the launching pads at Cape Kennedy in 1964. In the upper left hand corner, the huge Vehicle Assembly Building under construction where the giant Saturn 5 rockets will be assembled years later.
A rare LIFE picture of Neil Armstrong at home in March 1969, four months before he became the first man to walk on the moon.
Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin in space suit, practicing with a movie camera he will use on the upcoming Apollo XI lunar mission.
A picture of the preparation of famous Lunar Module For Apollo 11.
Cover of LIFE magazine dated 07-25-1969 with logo & legend "Leaving for the Moon" and picture of astronaut Neil Armstrong in spacesuit waving.
Composite of 5 frame shots of the gantry retracting while the Saturn V boosters lift off to carry the Apollo 11 astronauts to the Moon.
Jan Armstrong, wife of Apollo 11 astronaut, Neil Armstrong, gazes upon white trail in sky of Apollo 11 blastoff, from boat, with son.
Launching of Apollo 11 viewed from across river by group of people.
Fish-eye lens view of spectators watching Apollo 11 blast-off.
Apollo 11 Lunar Module in landing configuration, as viewed from Command & Service Module.
Cover of LIFE magazine special issue (08-11-1969) entitled ""To the Moon and Back." with photo of reflections on astronauts facemask.
Astronaut Edwin Aldrin backing down stairs from lunar module to be 2nd man on the moon.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin preparing to deploy the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package (EASEP) during Apollo 11 lunar surface extravehicular activity on moon.
Buzz Aldrin standing on moon beside part. deployed Early Apollo Scientific Experimental Package with Lunar Module & newly-erected American flag in the background.
"Buzz" Aldrin standing on moon as he deploys seismic-testing equipment (Early Apollo Scientific Experimental Package or EASEP) with Lunar Module "Eagle" in background.
Buzz Aldrin stands beside an American flag at Tranquility Base on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. July, 1969 Tranquility Base, Mare Tranquillitatus, Moon.
Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin inside Apollo 11 Lunar Module during Lunar landing mission.
Apollo 11 lunar module ascent stage photographed fromcommand service module during rendezvous in lunar orbit. Planet Earth visible above the lunar horizon.
Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong in space capsule after his historic walk on moon.
It's one thing to go on the Moon, but then you have to come back to Earth! Here is some pictures of the splashdown of Apollo XI mission.
Joan Aldrin, wife of Buzz Aldrin applauding her husband, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, as she watches TV coverage of splashdown at end of mission.
Overall of scene surrounding quarantined astronauts after splashdown of Apollo XI mission.
Apollo 11 astronauts Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin peering out window of quarantine room aboard recovery ship Hornet following splashdown.
The three Astronauts went then all around the world for a huge celebration. Here, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins are parading through India on the Giantstep-Apollo 11 Presidential Goodwill Tour to promote American willingness to share space knowledge.
Cover of LIFE magazine dated 08-08-1969 with logo & picture of American flag planted on the moon.
Here is a great video where you'll be able to see the main images of the Apollo XI mission.
Recently, the NASA did an amazing work of restoration of the first Moon movies. the result? We see more clearly than ever these historical footage!
I would like to end with a rare interview, a long time later of legendary Neil Armstrong. I strongly recommand you to have a look at it as Armstrong, after he came back from the Moon and left NASA some years later decided to never grant any interview. Thanks God, he did at least two or three and here is one of them.
Pictures: copyright NASA and TIME-LIFE
Videos: copyright NASA