In the 50 years since July 20, 1969, 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.
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Caleb A. Scharf is director of astrobiology at Columbia University. He is author and co-author of more than 100 scientific research articles in astronomy and astrophysics. His work has been featured in publications such as New Scientist, Scientific American, Science News, Cosmos Magazine, Physics Today and National Geographic. For many years he wrote the Life, Unbounded blog for Scientific American.