Home Science The most beautiful photos taken on the Apollo 11 mission – BBC News

The most beautiful photos taken on the Apollo 11 mission – BBC News

16 min read

16 July 1969
Neil Armstrong leads his crew as they board the Saturn V rocket. He’s carrying his oxygen supply, and in four days will be walking on the Moon. (Credit: Nasa)

At 09.32 EDT, the mission gets underway. Half an hour beforehand, Armstrong had commented that the crew were very comfortable: “It’s very nice this morning”. (Credit: Nasa)

An hour into the trip, Armstrong snaps this picture of Michael Collins holding the TV camera. (Credit: Nasa)

17 July 1969
The crew are hurtling towards the Moon. They take this picture as they look back at the Earth, which went on to become one of the most famous photographs to be taken of the planet during the Apollo programme. (Credit: Nasa)

18 July 1969
Here is Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin putting away his sunglasses inside the Lunar Module Eagle, the spacecraft which will take him and Armstrong to the Moon. (Credit: Nasa)

19 July 1969
Apollo 11 has entered the Moon’s orbit, and flies to the far-side. There, they take pictures, and Michael Collins exclaims: “My gosh, they’re monsters,” about the mountains and craters on the lunar surface. (Credit: Nasa)

20 July 1969
At 102 hours and 45 minutes into the mission, Lunar Module Eagle makes contact with the Moon. Once Aldrin and Armstrong are out, they take photos, including this iconic image of their boot print on the surface. (Credit: Nasa)

Aldrin and Armstrong set up a US flag on the lunar surface and Aldrin salutes. The top pole doesn’t quite extend properly, leaving the flag partially folded, as you can see here. (Credit: Nasa)

Armstrong takes this photo of Aldrin, but the reflection in his visor captures both of them as they stand on the Moon. It is the most reproduced image from the Apollo missions. (Credit: Nasa)

Back inside Lunar Module Eagle, Armstrong is thrilled with how well it all went. Later, he will explain that he felt there wasn’t enough time to do everything they had wanted to. (Credit: Nasa)

21 July 1969
The crew regroups, as the Lunar Module Eagle reattaches to Columbia, which Michael Collins has been flying around the Moon. Collins took this photo on the far-side of the Moon, as Eagle approaches Columbia. You can see Earth rising up behind. (Credit: Nasa)

Now speeding away from the Moon and on their way home, the crew look back and take some photos of that great grey rock in the sky. (Credit: Nasa)

22 July 1969
The crew are on their way home to a hero’s welcome, and take some photos of their approach to Earth. Although difficult to make out from this far away, South America is the prominent continent here. (Credit: Nasa)

23 July 1969
Today, the crew hit the halfway point between the Moon and the Earth. Here, you can see the Sahara desert in all its orange glory. (Credit: Nasa)

24 July 1969
So close to Earth that it more than fills the frames of their cameras, the crew will be landing today. (Credit: Nasa)

Splashdown! They land safely in the Pacific Ocean, and are rescued into a small boat to be decontaminated and then moved into quarantine for three weeks. (Credit: Nasa)

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