Almost since that historic day on July 20, 1969 when the Apollo 11 lunar mission landed on the moon, there have been those claiming it was all a hoax, possibly the footage even directed by none other than Stanley Kubrick.
There have been movies, documentaries, sci-fi thrillers, and rumors surrounding that historic flight – and what might or might not have happened. NASA has listened to the speculation for decades – nearly five decades to be precise. And every time some new conspiracy is discussed, the Apollo 11 flight is brought back into the discussion.
Maybe NASA decided enough is enough! Maybe they have also been waiting for a way to share so much information easily. Either way, they have recently established a Project Apollo Archive website with over 10,000 photos from the various Apollo missions. And the quality of the photos is really stunning. About 8,400 of the photographs are at a resolution of 1800 dpi. They are sorted by the roll of film for the photos.
Apollo lunar missions began with Apollo 8, which was launched on December 21, 1968. For those living at the time, there are memories of watching each mission with anticipation. Televisions were brought into classrooms – not heard of at the time – to listen to moments when history was being made. Watching with patriotic fervor on that day in July to see extremely grainy images being broadcast on television sets in black and white while watching “one small step for mankind.”
The country was in the midst of the Cold War, the Viet Nam conflict – causing a bit of a division within the U.S., and it was only a short time after the assassinations of JFK and his brother Robert. The U.S. was a nation in desperate need of a uniting win. And the lunar landing did just that – we won against the “red menace” in the space race. We, at least for a day, put the blood and horror of Viet Nam aside, and stood together espousing the greatness of our nation.
So yeah, it’s not hard to understand NASA’s reason for releasing these photos showing the victories as well as the day-to-day events such as getting a close shave, or taking a few selfies with the best tech available in that day and time. The Apollo era ended on December 19, 1972, when Apollo 17 landed back on earth.
The website shows some of the iconic pictures you’ve probably seen dozens of times in your life, but there are so many more. Gorgeous shots of the both the moon and Earth from space, some of the surface of the moon with our looming planet in the background.
Whether you were alive or not for that first lunar landing, check out the pictures and enjoy the moments of victory when men and women accomplished the unthinkable – what no one believed possible just a few years before. It is a monument to what we can accomplish when we are willing to put our minds together and work toward one purpose.
It is also a wonderfully transparent public relations move while NASA’s thumbs their giant digital proof at those trying to say it never happened.