A new archive collects thousands of vintage NASA photos on Flickr, including candid shots from the Apollo missions.

Some shots of the Apollo missions are iconic, like the ones of Neil Armstrong taking “one small step for man” and planting the American flag on the moon’s surface. But you’ve probably never seen this shadow selfie taken by one of the astronauts on Apollo 11 back in 1965.

(NASA via Flickr/Project Apollo Archive)

Or this selfie by astronaut Donn F. Eisele during the Apollo 7 mission.

(NASA via Flickr/Project Apollo Archive)

Not every NASA photo taken of its Apollo missions makes it to the press—and therefore, to the public—because, well, there are tens of thousands of them.

But thanks to Kipp Teague, a space enthusiast and the founder of Project Apollo Archive, they can now be easily accessed on the popular photo-sharing site Flickr in one giant collection. Since 1999, Teague has been collecting images from NASA’s archives of its missions to the moon during the 1960s and ‘70s. While the photos on the website have usually been slightly edited, this latest collection has been posted in all its original, un-Photoshopped glory. So far, the Flickr page has more than 11,000 photos, and Teague plans to upload a total of 13,000, he told BBC.

All the photos were taken using Hasselblad cameras, which according to Wired, is the camera used to shoot some of the most iconic Apollo photos. Nestled among stunning images of Earth from the moon, intriguing photos of the moon’s surface, and revealing pictures from within the spacecraft are candid self-portraits—revelatory in a different, distinctly human, way.

The collection might make you wish NASA’s Instagram was around in the 60’s and 70’s. It would include awe-inspiring photos, sure, but also an astronaut shaving, someone’s space boots. But the archive is amazing to browse now just the same. Teague’s Flickr page has more than 20,000 followers, and his Facebook page has gotten 31,000 likes at the time of this writing.

Here’s a sampling from the collection:

Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt from Apollo 17 mission pose for a selfie. (NASA via Flickr/Project Apollo Archive)
Astronaut Harrison Schmitt going about his daily grooming routine. (NASA via Flickr/Project Apollo Archive)
Hard at work during the Apollo 9 mission. (NASA via Flickr/Project Apollo Archive)
The Earth in all its glory, taken from Apollo 8. (NASA via Flickr/Project Apollo Archive)
Leaving behind a footprint during Apollo 11. (NASA via Flickr/Project Apollo Archive)
Taking the the lunar rover out for a spin during the Apollo 15 mission. (NASA via Flickr/Project Apollo Archive)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    How I. M. Pei Shaped the Modern City

    The architect, who died yesterday at the age of 102, designed iconic modern buildings on prominent sites around the world. Here are some that delight and confound CityLab.

  2. Tourists walk along the High Line in Manhattan, New York City
    Life

    The Beauty Premium: How Urban Beauty Affects Cities’ Economic Growth

    A study finds that the more beautiful a city is, the more successful it is at attracting jobs and new residents, including highly educated and affluent ones.

  3. Solutions

    ‘Fairbnb’ Wants to Be the Unproblematic Alternative to Airbnb

    The vacation rental industry is mired in claims that it harms neighborhoods and housing markets. Can a nonprofit co-op make the tourist trend a community asset?

  4. Still from 'Game of Thrones' showing three characters trudging through a burning city.
    Design

    King’s Landing Was Always a Miserable Dump

    Game of Thrones’ destruction of the capital of the Seven Kingdoms revealed a city of mean living conditions and rampant inequality.

  5. An artist's rendering of a space colony, with farms, a university campus, an elevated train track, and skyscrapers in the background.
    Design

    Jeff Bezos Dreams of a 1970s Future

    If the sci-fi space cities of Bezos’s Blue Origin look familiar, it’s because they’re derived from the work of his college professor, the late physicist Gerard O’Neill.