Bound for the Moon: Apollo 11 Preparation in Photos

Building on years of work with Project Mercury and Project Gemini in the early 1960s, NASA’s Apollo program dedicated itself to putting Americans safely on the lunar surface before 1970, fulfilling a national goal set by President John F. Kennedy. The systems, materials, and techniques necessary to do this were nearly all brand new, and required extensive testing and research before they were sent 240,000 miles away from home. The astronauts were new to this as well, pioneers headed to a new world—literally. The world was fascinated with NASA’s progress as it approached the launch of Apollo 11 in July 1969, when the astronauts Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong left Earth to touch down on the moon. Collected here, some of the training, preparation, and daily life that occupied the astronauts and their NASA support team in the months leading up to Apollo 11. Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series reflecting on the Apollo 11 mission, 50 years later.

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