PDN Photo of the Day

Space Age Style: 20 Forgotten Photos from the Apollo 11 Mission

Space Age Style: 20 Forgotten Photos from the Apollo 11 Mission

This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Everyone knows the famous photographs of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the surface of the moon. Lesser-known are the photos of what took place back on Earth. Recently, we searched the NASA images archive for some of the seldom-seen images of the 1969 lunar mission. These images show the trappings of the space age: Engineers in skinny ties, scientists with serious expressions, space buffs camping out in Detroit-built station wagons, and above all, the sublime awesomeness of being an astronaut.


All photos via NASA

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, seen with the helicopter he flew to practice landing the Lunar Module.


July 9, 1969: A week before the launch, the astronauts reported to the flight crew training building of the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins arrived carrying a cup of coffee.

Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin arrives arrival at the flight crew training building.


July 15, 1969: Collins, Armstrong and Aldrin, spoke to the press the night before launch.


July 16, 1969: Apollo Program Director Lieutenant General Samuel C. Phillips monitored pre-launch activities from the Kennedy Space Flight Center control room.


July 16, 1969: Thousands of people camped out on beaches and roads adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the Apollo 11 liftoff.


A million spectators came to the spaceport to witness the historic launch. Some camped on the beach.


Vice President Spiro Agnew and former President Lyndon B. Johnson watched the liftoff, July 16, 1969, 9:32 am EDT.


Apollo 11 mission officials relaxed after the successful liftoff. From left to right are: Charles W. Mathews, Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight; Dr. Wernher von Braun, Director of the Marshall Space Flight Center; George Mueller, Associate Administrator for the Office of Manned Space Flight; Lt. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, Director of the Apollo Program.


With the mission underway, reporters interviewed the family of Neil Armstrong.


Dr. Robert R. Gilruth, Director of the Manned Spacecraft Center, followed progress of the lunar landing mission from his console in Houston’s Mission Control Center.

raftThe Apollo 11 astronauts splashed down at 11:49 a.m. CDT on July 24, 1969, about 812 nautical miles southwest of Hawaii. They waited in a raft for helicopter pickup with a United States Navy underwater demolition team swimmer.


Flight controllers and mission officials celebrated the return of the astronauts to earth.


Aldrin, Armstrong, and Collins were flown by helicopter to the U.S.S. Hornet. They wore biological isolation garments they donned while still in the spacecraft.


Immediately, the astronauts were placed in quarantine.


The mobile quarantine facility was transported from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center Lunar Receiving Laboratory in Houston, Texas.


The astronauts bow their heads in a prayer offered by USS Hornet Chaplain Lt. Commander John Pirrto. President Richard Nixon stands at right.


The astronauts were kept under quarantine for three weeks. Here are Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin seen through the window of the Mobile Quarantine Facility.


Friends and family greeted the astronauts as they emerged from the quarantine on August 10, 1969.


The astronauts were international celebrities. A goodwill tour carried them to 24 countries and 27 cities in 45 days. Thousands swarmed them during a parade in Mexico City on September 23, 1969.

Posted in:







  1. Photo’s and story bring back many memories, I was 11 at the time, and astronauts were “Hero’s” in my mind.

    Thanks for the visit back in time. :)

  2. I was not alive when this happened well I was about to be born but my uncle was and he is 14th photo in the barea. Norvell Wood. What a man. He gave me some collectables from that day which really made it a memorable moment once I was old enough to realize the signifigance.

  3. In today’s world when so many things are forgotten about, it’s wonderful to see great memories especially for me. You see, my father, Norvel Wood, while in the Navy had the honor and priivillage of working with not only Apollo 11 crew but with the crew of Apollo 8 as well. The two pictures of the astronuats disbarking from the chopper when they arrived aboard ship has my father closing the “hatch”. It is a blessing to have more documentation of this. My thanks and gratitude to the men before Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins and to the men and women since who have scarficed their personal and professional life for the knowledge and freedoms I, we, as Americans, have today. Thank- you~~”Thanks for the memories”.

  4. Loved these pics! It’s corny but that one of the family sleeping on the beach really moved me in some way. I mean what cool parents to take their son to see the lift off, and then sleep ON THE BEACH for the best view?? I love the way he’s bright and alert, reading the book, while they are both crashed…. Awww…. it’s sweet!

  5. The recollection never fails to make my heart skip a beat. Can you imagine what was going thru their minds at that news conference the night before the launch? No matter how much planning and practicing had gone on, nobody knew what they were going to find when they got there. The whole ‘giant step for for mankind’ was such an understatement!

  6. It’s sad to see how many people these days think that all this was just a hoax. I have a hard time seeing how any of this could have been faked. I wasn’t born until 85, but it’s all just as real to me.

    Great photo collection by the way. It’s nice to see the ‘behind the scene’ shots that are never published.

  7. The hoax thing, the lights from different angles, and some other things making people believe this was hoax,…I could think of one reason, the astronauts might have worked under ETs’ watchful guide when they were on the Moon, which they are not allowed to speak about to anyone including their family and some co-workers.
    It’s amazing that the so toy-like spaceship made the trip to the Moon if it was real…. ( I presume even the landing on the moon was helped by the moon people)….Toy-like ship… considering the law of nature…

  8. How can you look at the 3 guys in these pictures, and not see in their faces that they were actually there? They also seem to be damn happy to have lived through it. It was a few minutes of peace on earth. Time will give us the truth. So come on, let’s hurry up and go back.

  9. These pictures just make me that much prouder to that lived through part of the height of that part of the space race. I can remember waiting for every issue of National Geographic to see what new pictures would be published from the various missions. I remember building, from scratch, out of cardboard, toothpick and painted aluminum foil, a model of Skylab.

    Looking back on it today, it seems like there was so much more to look forward to, back then. Our problems seemed so mundane compared to what we, the world, are going through now.

  10. Enjoyed the trip down memory lane I was in Vietnam when this happened Was trying to watch the moon landing on a nine (9) inch screen with twenty other guys It was a thrill to see our tech in action and that we beat theRussians !!

  11. Very interesting post thanks for sharing I just added your website to my favorites and will be back :) By the way this is a little off topic but I really like your web page layout.

  12. Thanks for the Memories! It’s hard to believe it has been over 40 years. The pictures are great and it’s is surprising how they bring back the excitement and pride I felt to be a part of that event in history. Additionally, it made me a hero with my girls — they had an unlimited supply of information for show & tell — it lasted years for them.

  13. I never tire at looking at these historic photos. Has it really been 41 years ago?

    As someone who partisipated in the Apollo 11 flight, working down range at the Eastern Test Range (ETR) Grand Bahama Island tracking station as a Telemetry technician, it gives me great pleasure to again remember these historic days, never to be repeated again.

    Check my webpage to see the commemorative envelopes I prepared for collectors for the Apollo 11 flight. You can also search google for
    Cover Album: Grand Bahama Island
    to look at these envelopes.

  14. Neek states “Time will give us the truth”. Oh for crap’s sake! People will buy a thousand percent the sanctioned mental illness called religion but not the achievements of mere humans and their magnificent abilities. Humans developed, implemented, executed and completed the project to place humans on our nearest neighbor and everyone reading these words is enjoying the fruits of those labors- the spinoffs, technologies built upon those developments. No one spent $24 billion to pull some forlorn, imagined wool over the people of earth’s eyes. That it was positive, upward looking, uniting of the U.S. workforce, instilling pride in all involved probably can’t be processed by those same feeble minds that say “It was faked”. It was real, we did it, it was a serious blast witnessing and participating in it, just as it will be when we head out to the other targets in the solar system and then galaxy. Get used to humans moving out there……thataway!


  15. its a shame the FBI CIA or any other state budget handler couldnt make a decent effort to produce a convincing film so enters STAN KUBICK the rest is historyas to where the tax dollars went ALIEN reverse engineering man has been to MARS AND BEYOND and back already ive got the POWER TO DESTROY ripping holes in time an space through use nuclear bombs and now sadly finding out that MAJOR EARTH CHANGES WILL TAKE PLACE soon 2012 -2013 will send us back to the stone age to start all over again thanks to the so called ELITE who know nothing about giving but only TAKING .

  16. awesome writing for this an excellent storie a lot of people that write articles online don’t get completely credit and i would like to say thank you for your superb work. I adore the blog layout as-well you really getting this site around. I have just tweeted this post. I was kinda looking for this for a while and i will tell my comrades about this blog the will beenticed by thanks

  17. My spouse and i have really been looking into solar energy for nearly a year and the two of us conclusively made the investment based upon on the blend of the governtment incentive opportunities combined with tremendously cost-effective credit. My partner and i have now already been checking into solar energy for just about a couple of years and my spouse and i last but not least made the investment based upon the mixture of the governtment incentive opportunities and incredibly cost efficient loans. I essentially couldn’t comprehend precisely how economical it all ended up being and thus we already have ended up being a photo voltaic home for approximately a month’s time and furthermore every little thing seem like it is working out fine. We can also honestly view how much electrical power my spouse and i aer preserving every night and it is really quite remarkable. I alway believed that photo voltaic was probably supported because of a lot of hype however , I can easily tell you that the product is without a doubt the authentic deal. We wish my partner and i had done this a long time ago.

Top of Page