Give astronauts a camera and turns out they’ll document dazzling photos of the Earth, spacecrafts in orbit, the moon’s deep craters, plus a few shots of mundane matters like brushing their teeth and shaving. A rare few have made it into outer space but thanks to NASA’s initiative to make the cosmic images part of the public domain, we mere planetary mortals can live vicariously through the photographs.
The Apollo missions took place between 1961 and 1975 and during that time each astronaut was outfitted with a Hasselblad camera. Kipp Teague of the Project Apollo Archives has been working since 1999 to digitize the film (his is a private endeavor, not a NASA-sponsored initiative) and has recently released over 8,000 high-resolution, unprocessed photographs to a Flickr album.
While the space race is now over, it feels inspiring to spy snapshots from that era and reflect upon the commitment to science and intrepid spirit they represent. Catch our favorites in the slide show above.