On October 11, 1968, Walter M. Schirra Jr., Donn F. Eisele, and R. Walter Cunningham successfully entered Earth’s orbit. It was a last-minute decision, according to NASA, to provide astronauts Walter Schirra Jr., Donn Eisele, and R. Walter Cunningham with the four-and-a-half-pound camera. For 10 days, 20 hours, nine minutes, and three seconds, the commander and pilots took photos of Earth from their Command Service Module. It was the first Apollo program to carry men into space and the first three-person American space crew.
But it was hardly the last.
Until Apollo 17—NASA’s final Apollo mission—landed safely back in the South Pacific on December 19, 1972, astronauts continued to photograph their journeys beyond Earth’s atmosphere.
NASA has been collecting these raw, unprocessed photographs from every Apollo mission, which are organized by Kipp Teague on the Project Apollo Archive Flickr. You can see everything the astronauts saw (like the American flag left on the moon from the Apollo 11 mission’s Columbia module to surreal black-and-white shots from the first Lunar Roving Vehicle used on Apollo 15).
Below are a few of our favorite images, which captured mankind’s first ventures into outer space.