Only a dozen men in human history have had the privilege of walking on the surface of the moon, and a few days ago the first of these pioneers — Neil Armstrong — passed away at the age of 82. Armstrong leaves behind a sterling legacy of service as a US Naval aviator, professor, statesman, and astronaut, but his most storied accomplishment took place the day he left the first human footprint amongst the dust of the Sea of Tranquility.
Perhaps Buzz Aldrin, the second moonwalker, spoke best of his historic companion, “My friend Neil took the small step but giant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a historic moment in human history. … [M]ay his vision for our human destiny in space be his legacy.” I could not have said it better, and not just because I make it a point to never get on the wrong side of Buzz Aldrin.
Despite Armstrong’s unimpeachable place in the annals of human exploration, there are precious few photos of Armstrong taken during the Apollo 11 mission that put him on the moon. The reason behind this deficit of visual evidence is simple: Armstrong was the lead photographer on Apollo 11, and he couldn’t be in the photos he was taking. Instead, Buzz Aldrin is the feature model in all the Apollo 11 astronaut glamour shots.
This has the effect of making the scant few photos of the first moonwalker in human history actually walking on the moon a rare and precious commodity.
HOW MANY PHOTOS EXIST OF NEIL ARMSTRONG WALKING ON THE MOON?