These 25 Vintage NASA Photos Place You At The Scene Of Space Exploration’s Most Important Moments

On April 13, 1970, an oxygen tank exploded aboard Apollo 13, forcing American astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise to act quickly in order to save the spacecraft — as well as their own lives. The explosion forced the crew to abandon their mission — to reach the moon — but the crew’s heroics saved the craft, and saved NASA from another tragedy just three years after the Apollo 1 disaster.

Forty-six years later, we look beyond those two accidents and survey, via photographs from the missions, some of the most important achievements in the history of the Apollo program:

Prev Next 1 of 26
Apollo Photos

A view from onboard Apollo 7 during the Earth orbit. The Apollo 7 crew —Commander Walter M. Schirra, Command Module Pilot Donn F. Eisele, and Lunar Module Pilot R. Walter Cunningham — was able to fulfill the mission initially intended for the doomed Apollo 1.

Donn Eisele

Command Module Pilot Donn F. Eisele aboard Apollo 7 during its 11-day Earth-orbital test flight.

Walter Cunningham

Apollo 7 Lunar Module Pilot Walter Cunningham. Apollo 7's was the first crew sent into orbit around the Earth.

Space Pen

Cunningham writes with a space pen aboard Apollo 7. The Apollo 7 crew also transmitted the first live television broadcast from a U.S. spacecraft.

Apollo 9

An astronaut peeks out of the Apollo 9 Module with the curvature of the Earth shown clearly in the background.

Lunar Module

Apollo 9 was the first mission to include the Lunar Module.

Space Walk

The Apollo 9 crew of Commander James McDivitt, Command Module Pilot David Scott, and Lunar Module Pilot Rusty Schweickart spent 10 days in orbit performing many tests that would be critical to eventually landing on the moon.

Dave Scott

David Scott (above) would later be the Commander on Apollo 15.

LM Undocking

The Apollo 10 Lunar Module was able to navigate within 8.4 nautical miles of the lunar surface, the point at which powered decent to the moon’s surface would commence.

Orbit Return

The success of this mission enabled the first lunar landing attempt with Apollo 11.

Flag Moon

The Apollo 11 Lunar Module, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on board, landed on the surface of the moon on July 20th, 1969.

Neil Armstrong

Shortly after it landed, Armstrong (above) became the first man to walk on the moon.

Buzz Aldrin

Aldrin (above) would soon follow Armstrong, becoming the second man to ever step on the lunar surface.

Neil Descent

Neil Armstrong climbing out of the Lunar Module and onto the surface of the moon.

Lunar Landing

Above is the first EVA (Extravehicular Activity) photo ever taken — the first frame taken by Neil Armstrong from west of the ladder.

Moon Walk

Aldrin preparing to deploy two components of the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package (EASEP) on the surface of the moon.

Apollo 11

Aldrin stands saluting the American Flag upon the lunar surface. The astronaut's footprints are clearly visible in the frame.

Apollo EVA

Some conspiracy theorists suggest that the lunar landings were faked by NASA and that the lunar walks never happened.

The theories were put to the test in and all were debunked.

Apollo 12

Apollo 12 was the sixth American manned space flight and the second to land on the lunar surface.

Apollo12 EVA

The Apollo 12 mission was the first to take a color television camera onto the moon's surface, but the camera was accidentally destroyed when Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean pointed it towards the sun.

Lunar Dish

The Apollo 12 landing occurred near the Surveyor 3 unmanned space probe which landed in 1967. The crew retrieved some parts from the Surveyor craft to be returned to Earth to study the effects of long term exposure of the lunar environment.

Apollo 13

Apollo 13 launched on April 11, 1970 and was intended to be the third manned mission to land on the moon's surface. However, two days into the mission, an oxygen tank exploded onboard, crippling the Service Module, which was vital to the Command Module.

Crew Onboard

The crew had to improvise and repair an onboard air purifier in order to decrease the carbon dioxide levels and save the astronauts' lives.

Duct Tape

The purifier did not fit properly, so duct tape was used to solve the issue — it essentially allowed them to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Apollo nasa missions Safe Return

Despite low power and low oxygen, Apollo 13 made its successful return to Earth on April 17, 1970.

Like this gallery? Share it!

Continue Reading

Morphine, Santa Claus, And Nazis: The Secret History Of Coca-Cola

From morphine to Santa Claus to Nazis, this Coca-Cola history lesson will reveal how one sugary drink created the America we know today.

Coca Cola History

Afghan refugee children stand in front of a Coca-Cola sign in northwest Pakistan. Image Source: HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images

On the evening of April 16, 1865, Union and Confederate cavalry clashed over a bridge in Columbus, Georgia, in what was arguably the last battle of the U. S. Civil War. During the fight, a Confederate colonel named John Pemberton took a slashing saber wound to the chest and had to be carried away from the fight.

Believe it or not, this set of facts is the basis for why, today, you clip coupons before a shopping trip, why every vertical surface in the world is plastered with advertisements, and why children believe in Santa Claus.

Continue Reading

Then And Now: Photo Comparison Reveals Lincoln’s Unbelievable Aging During The Civil War

Abraham Lincoln Before And After Comparison

Left: August 13, 1860, three months before Lincoln was elected president. Right: February 5, 1865, just two months before his assassination. Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons (left); Wikimedia Commons (right).

While next to impossible to determine the greatest, worst, or even most impactful U.S. president, it is somewhat easier to decide on the one who held everything together despite seemingly insurmountable odds: Abraham Lincoln.

Continue Reading

The Five Strangest Riots In History

From brawling over stolen corpses to rioting over a pile of exploding disco records, history’s five strangest riots prove that some people can always be relied upon to form an angry mob.

Historical Strange Riots Hockey

A Vancouver Canucks fan takes part in a riot after the team’s 2011 Stanley Cup Championship loss. Photo by David Elop. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Both mobs and mob mentality have been around for as long as “society” has existed. The first recorded riot occurred in 44 BC, after the assassination of Julius Caesar, but you can be certain that they were already a well-established part of human life by that point.

While violence is never a laughing matter, the motives behind some riots are just plain bizarre. Ever heard the expression, “People have rioted over less?” Here are five riots that make you realize it’s completely true…

Continue Reading

Close Pop-in
Like All That Is Interesting

Get The Most Fascinating Content On The Web In Your Facebook & Twitter Feeds