Photography

Apollo Program: a Universe of Photographs

Browse over 15 thousand images from NASA’s photo archive

In 2004, the Johnson Space Center began digitizing the negatives of all of the images taken by NASA astronauts assigned to the Apollo Program. These images are property of the Project Apollo Archive–an initiative created in 1999 to compile all of the visual material from these missions and share with the world the emotion and historic moments that they document.

Since then, NASA has been periodically updating the collection. Today, the Flickr account hosts nearly 16 thousand stunning images.

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View of Earth from Apollo 11; Project Apollo Archive
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Project Apollo Archive; digitized by NASA’s Johnson Space Center
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Project Apollo Archive; digitized by NASA’s Johnson Space Center

Authentic images

Despite all the technical challenges that come with taking a photograph in outer space, these images raise awareness of the grandeur of the universe and the experiences of the astronauts who were working on these missions.

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Project Apollo Archive; digitized by NASA’s Johnson Space Center

Whether an image was in focus, how it was framed, and the noises going on in the background quickly became obsolete in the creation of this collection: at 1800 DPI, each photo has great value given the adventure it represents. These raw images have been downloaded by thousands of creatives around the world and used to create compositions that pay tribute to humans’ journey to the Moon.

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Project Apollo Archive; digitized by NASA’s Johnson Space Center
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Project Apollo Archive; digitized by NASA’s Johnson Space Center
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Project Apollo Archive; digitized by NASA’s Johnson Space Center

The Hasselblad

Although the astronauts also used TV cameras that they had on board, the stand-out tool in this collection is the Hasselblad camera, which was used to document key moments from the Apollo mission.

A public archive like no other

When you enter the image archive, you will find a mosaic catalog (organized by time, mission, etc.) featuring different collections: from training sessions at the NASA base to exploring the Moon’s surface and the everyday life of the explorers in their space capsules. All of these images are available for public use, and each one includes the necessary information for credits and context.

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Project Apollo Archive; digitized by NASA’s Johnson Space Center
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Project Apollo Archive; digitized by NASA’s Johnson Space Center
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View of Earth from Apollo 11; Project Apollo Archive
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Portrait of Buzz Aldrin by Neil Armstrong; Project Apollo Archive
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Apollo 11 Lunar Module prior to extraction; Project Apollo Archive
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Lunar orbit from Apollo 11; Project Apollo Archive

If you would like to launch yourself into this universe and explore hours and hours of emotion through nearly 16 thousand photographs belonging to the Project Apollo Archive, click here.

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