In the 50 years since July 201969, and the first humans landing on the moon, we’ve grown accustomed to seeing the same pictures of the Apollo 11 mission again and again. But there is a wealth of material beautifully archived at NASA. In honor of Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins, as well as the thousands of people who contributed to this extraordinary—and provocative, moving, controversial, epoch-making, tear-jerking and outrageous—undertaking, here are a few selected images that don’t often see the light of day—or space.

On July 12, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins take their final press conference from inside their semi-isolated NASA quarters (done to minimize the odds of getting sick and to allow for a period of intense last-minute training). Deke Slayton is seen on the stool at far left. Credit: NASA
On the day of the launch, on July 16, 1969, Armstrong and Collins cross the walkway to the command module atop the Saturn V rocket. It will be an early-morning launch. Credit: NASA
Saturn V launches, as seen from the Kennedy Space Center control room. Credit: NASA
Leaving Earth behind. Credit: NASA
Moon and Earthrise, with the lunar module in the foreground. Credit: NASA
First image taken by Armstrong after setting foot on the moon. Credit: NASA
Plaque left on the moon. Credit: NASA
Aldrin moving to place some of the mission’s experiments and devices. Credit: NASA
Lunar module returning to rendezvous with Collins.

Credit: NASA
View of the moon after trans-Earth injection and the start of the astronauts’ return to Earth. Credit: NASA