Buzz Aldrin photographed by Neil Armstrong, early during the Apollo 11.
On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy in Florida with astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong aboard. On July 20, the Lunar Module, Eagle, landed in the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon. That evening, Armstrong left the module, followed by Aldrin 20 minutes later, changing the course of human history by being the first people on the Moon.
One of the crew’s objectives was to take many photographs on the surface — both of lunar geology and their own scientific equipment, as well as anything that others back on Earth might find interesting. As a result, the mission is a visually magnificent voyage in both black and white and color.
Although a few photos of the trip come easily to mind, it’s hard to distill such an iconic journey into just a few pictures. For the 54th anniversary of those astronauts’ brave steps, here is an image gallery, taken from the NASA Apollo archives. These 30 stills provide a brief insight into the training, liftoff, Earth orbit, and of course, the Moon.