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Astronaut Buzz Aldrin photographed on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission

Moonman

One of the most reproduced NASA images, this photograph of an Apollo 11 astronaut on the Moon shows Buzz Aldrin, not Neil Armstrong as many believe. Armstrong served as photographer—he can be seen reflected in Aldrin’s visor. Aldrin recalled Armstrong saying, “Stop and turn.” In this spontaneous picture, Aldrin’s arm is raised, perhaps to read the checklist sewn onto his left glove. His right boot digs into the dust. A protective gold visor hides his face.

This image—the space–suited Apollo astronaut standing and facing the camera, often including the crooked arm—became an iconic symbol of American accomplishment and was reproduced in books, films, television, and items of popular culture. Artists around the world also reinterpreted the Moonman.

Photo credit: NASA


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