Rare Photographs Of NASA's 1960s Apollo Missions

Rare Photographs Of NASA's 1960s Apollo Missions

Every child has had that one dream. The ‘I want to be an astronaut’ dream, where you picture yourself in a white space-suit, a cool rocket ship, bouncing around in zero gravity spaces with fellow astronauts. And when we grow up, when dreams like this remain just mere dreams, we like to live vicariously through those that actually made these far-off space-dreams come true. 

Between 1968 and 1972, NASA launched 12 Apollo missions to the moon, which included Neil Amstrong and Buzz Aldrin taking that metaphorical ‘giant leap for humanity.’ While this is a widely known fact (or theory, for all the conspiracy theorists out there), a lesser known fact is that when NASA sends astronauts to the Moon for scientific explorations, they equip them with a handful of Hasselblad cameras that are known to capture impressive detail in every shot. This month, 8,400 unseen high-resolution images from NASA’s Moon missions have been uploaded to Flickr, and they are truly remarkable.

This spectacular vision of the Moon stitched together through 8,400 crystal clear photographs was a gift from Kipp Teague, an information technology director from Lynchburg, Virginia. For over 15 years, he has been working with Apollo imagery, and his Project Apollo Archive is meant as a supplement to Eric Jones’ Apollo Lunar Surface Journal--a detailed account of every Apollo lunar mission.


“Around 2004, Johnson Space Center began re-scanning the original Apollo Hasseelblad camera film magazines, and Eric Jones and I began obtaining TIFF (uncompressed, high-resolution) versions of these new scans on DVD. These images were processed for inclusion on our websites, including adjusting color and brightness levels, and reducing the images in size to about 1000 dpi (dots per inch) for the high-resolution versions,” he explained. But, over the years, as several questions regarding the images were directed towards him, including requests for higher quality ones, he decided to reprocess the entire archive in unedited, higher resolution and uploaded them on Flickr.

As Teague provides crystal clear images that show every detailed crevice of the Moon’s craters, and the gorgeous, picturesque view of the Earth from it, he has given the online world a unique insight into NASA’s Apollo missions, and every child that had an astronaut dream a new-found album to flip through and live vicariously. Scroll on for a small selection of the 8,400 images, and click here for the entire album.

 [All images have been taken from the publicly released Project Apollo Archive in Flickr.]

Apollo 17
Apollo 17, Eugene Cernan (left) Harrison Schmitt (right)
Crew of Apollo 7, first manned space craft of the Apollo mission series
Apollo 15