Our Best Pictures of the Apollo Missions & Space at Large

And space is large. It’s a place of unknown proportions, and the lines of scientific inquiry and exploration are far-reaching. Since the first lunar landing 50 years ago, we have mapped the surfaces of the Moon, Mars and Venus with greater detail and ease than most of the places on the floor of Earth’s oceans. We have entered an era that endeavors to turn the cosmos into a commodity with space tourism startups. Human colonization of space no longer seems like an unworkable Sci-Fi theory but actually an active area of research and complicated possibility. We have witnessed the first image of a supermassive black hole, assembled by cooperating telescopes stationed around the world. There is a growing layer of space trash orbiting around Earth, and the first protest in space was mounted in 2017 by the Autonomous Space Agency Network.

 

We offer no conclusions to this chaos. However, we have offered some pretty spectacular photographs from the astronauts in NASA’s Apollo missions, as well as images from their earlier and later pursuits, and some non-astronauts too.

 
 
NASA astronaut floating above earth
Group of 22 large-format cibachrome photographs from various NASA missions, 1965-84. Sold for $43,750.
 
Man on the moon
Group of 22 large-format cibachrome photographs from various NASA missions, 1965-84.
 
view of the earth from the moon in black and white
Archive of approximately 1,540 NASA photographs, in nine binders, relating to the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, ferrotyped silver prints, 1961-72. Sold for $52,500.
 
view of the earth from the moon in color
Archive of 350 NASA photographs, 1960-2002. Sold for $11,250.
 
the whole earth from space
Whole Earth, chromogenic print, 1968. Sold for $1,170.
 
astronaut Mae Jemison floating in an anti-gravity chamber
Astronaut Mae Jemison. Archive of 350 NASA photographs, 1960-2002.
   
man on the moon
“Neil Armstrong is reflected in Edwin Aldrin’s helmet visor as Aldrin is photographed.” Archive of six period binders depicting Apollo Missions 10 through 17, 1969-72. Sold for $5,460.
 
televised moon landing
Small album with 35 snapshots of a television screen as Apollo 11 made its historic landing, 1969. Sold for $8,750.
 
lunar orbiter in black and white
Two lunar orbiter albums, approximately 90 silver prints of the Moon’s surface, 1966-67. Sold for $4,420.
 
surface of the moon
Two lunar orbiter albums, approximately 90 silver prints of the Moon’s surface, 1966-67.
 
collage of the moon
A contemporary sequence of ten photographic assemblages, each work depicting a section of the Moon, 1970s, assembled 2016. Sold for $6,250.
 
eclipse image
Total eclipse of the Moon, albumen prints, 1888. Sold for $2,750.
 
astronauts in times square
Times Square ticker tape parade in honor of Apollo 11. From an archive of approximately 1,540 NASA photographs relating to the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, 1961-72.
 

Not enough space for you? Here’s a fun piece of Swann trivia: in a 2008 Space Exploration auction, aptly numbered sale 2001, we sold a toothbrush from the Apollo 11 mission for $18,400.

 

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