On July 16, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., to make an attempt at the first manned landing on the lunar surface. During the voyage to the moon and during extravehicular activities on lunar surface, three Hasselblad 500EL cameras were used to chronicle the historic mission.
Painstakingly collected David Woods, Ken MacTaggart and Frank O'Brien of NASA's History Division, photographs recovered from the numerous reels of film from these cameras have been digitized and archived to the online Apollo Flight Journal.
To commemorate 45 years to the day since Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins left Earth, here is a small selection of photographs from the Journal that aren't so commonly seen online.
In this photo, Armstrong works inside Apollo 11's Command Module shortly after launch while the spacecraft was in Earth orbit awaiting separation and rendezvous maneuvers before being boosted in the direction of the moon.
Special thanks to space historian Amy Shira Teitel.
During the Earth orbit phase of the mission, many opportunities were available to photograph some stunning views of Earth. Shown here, Collins captures a stunning view of the sun glinting off a mass of water on our planet.
Command Module pilot Mike Collins is photographed during the Earth orbit phase of the mission.
Shortly after Apollo 11 was boosted to leave Earth orbit by the S-IVB third stage rocket, Commander Neil Armstrong needed to oversee some in-space acrobatics. The Command Module and Service Module sections undocked from the S-IVB and carried out a full 180 degree spin. Nestled inside the S-IVB was the Lunar Module that would be used to land Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon. They had to then re-dock with the Lunar Module, disengage the spent S-IVB and continue with their translunar journey. The S-IVB was jettisoned and sent on a heliocentric orbit.
This photo was taken inside the Command Module during the re-docking procedure -- the folded legs of the Lunar Module can be seen.
This photo shows a part of the docking mechanism -- called a docking drogue -- that allowed the Command Module and Lunar Module to be 'mated' during the docking maneuver. The system also allowed the Lunar Module to separate during descent onto the moon and re-mating after surface operations and the Lunar Module returned to moon orbit. This wide angle photo was stitched together for a wider context by Jon Hancock.
Buzz Aldrin reviews procedures in the Lunar Module cabin during the translunar coast.
The spent S-IVB third stage booster is photographed receding away from the Apollo 11 crew during the early phases of the translunar coast.
Earth as photogrpahed through a 250mm lens as the Apollo 11 crew continue with the translunar coast to the moon.
A famous photograph of Buzz Aldrin in the Lunar Module during the translunar coast has been combined with other photos inside the module's cabin to give a wider context. Stitching courtesy of Jon Hancock.
Armstrong climbs through the tunnel between the mated Command Module to the Lunar Module with a TV camera.
Earth seems very distant as the crew look back past the Lunar Module as they approach the moon.
Neil Armstrong hangs out inside the Command Module cabin as they approach lunar orbit.
As the crew entered lunar orbit, there were many opportunities to photograph the cratered landscape. Shown here is the western floor of crater Mendeleev while the Lunar Module's exterior can be seen to the right.
On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin left Collins in orbit inside the Command module as they descended to the lunar surface inside the Lunar Module. Check Discovery News in four days as we continue exploring the Apollo 11 events as captured through this stunning photographic archive.