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.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Qassem Al-Kaabi / AFP / Getty

    Photos: Sandstorms Sweep Across Parts of the Middle East

    A series of sandstorms has sent thousands to hospitals with breathing problems, and caused the closure of airports, schools, and government offices.

  • Sergione Infuso / Corbis via Getty

    Photos of the Week: Garbage Suit, Mesquite Heat, Bog Commander

    A fashion show in Burkina Faso, images from battlefields in Ukraine, the Witches and Wizards Convention in Brazil, a sandstorm in Iraq, electric-scooter racing in England, and much more

  • Caitlin Ochs / Reuters

    Water Levels in Lake Mead Reach Record Lows

    Images of Lake Mead, which has reached its lowest water levels since the 1930s

  • Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP / Getty

    Scenes From Svalbard

    Recent images of the landscapes and inhabitants of Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean