We Went to the Moon Once

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    4:18 today, July 20th, 2013, will mark the 44th anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing.

    Forty four years ago today I sat in front of a Black and White RCA television and watched the by no means certain conclusion of one of mankind’s greatest achievements.  Science Fiction had come true.  Man had left the earth in a spaceship and landed on another heavenly body.  If you weren’t there, you have no idea of what it was like to watch Walter Cronkite fumble for words, give up and join the rest of the world in weeping with joy.

    The following photographic history of the mission, images taken by NASA photographers (there is an extensive collection here), may convey some of the feelings that I am at a loss to express.

    ap11-crew-noID
    Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins in front of the launchpad
    ap11-S69-32235
    Lunar EVA simulation
    ap11-69-H-910
    Apollo 11 on the way to the pad
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    Ready for launch
    ap11-KSC-69P-566
    Final countdown
    ap11-KSC-69PC-368
    Astronaut’s pre-launch breakfast
    ap11-KSC-69PC-377
    Suiting up
    ap11-KSC-69P-639
    A final good luck
    ap11-KSC-69PC-399
    On the way to the capsule
    ap11-S69-39961
    Ignition
    ap11-KSC-69PC-442
    Liftoff
    ap11-KSC-69PC-397 (1)
    On the way to orbit
    ap11-KSC-69P-631
    Mission Control during launch
    ap11-KSC-69P-632
    Werner reacts
    AS11-44-6547
    Earth rise
    AS11-44-6559
    The pale blue dot
    AS11-44-6574
    LM separation
    AS11-44-6581
    Preparing for the landing
    AS11-37-5445
    The Command Module in orbit
    AS11-40-5846
    The landing site
    AS11-40-5844
    Close to touch down
    ap11-S69-39601
    Mission Control during the landing
    AS11-37-5454
    On the surface
    AS11-40-5850
    The LM on the Moon
    AS11-40-5868
    Aldrin joins Armstrong on the surface
    ap11-S69-39815
    Mission Control during Lunar EVA
    ap11fr10
    Erecting the flag
    AS11-40-5875HRedit
    Iconic mission image
    AS11-40-5903
    Armstrong reflected in Aldrin’s visor
    AS11-40-5961
    The LEM on the surface
    AS11-44-6626
    Going home
    ap11-S69-21698
    Splashdown
    ap11-S69-40753
    Heading for quanrantine
    ap11-S69-40147
    A visit from the wives
    ap11-69-H-1421
    Celebration in New York

     

    4 COMMENTS

    1. Wow. Thank you for posting these pictures, Steve. Can one feel nostalgic for an era when one wasn’t yet born? Yes.

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