Moon landings photographs that are out of this world

A Chinese spacecraft has made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon in the latest achievement for the country’s space programme.

Here we take a look back at some of the images from successful moon landings from the past 50 years.

 

  • First moon landing July 20, 1969 – Apollo 11

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin during the first manned landing in 1969

The first landing of a human being on the moon on July 20, 1969.

The Apollo 11 astronauts who led the mission were Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin.

As the Apollo 11 Lunar Module neared the surface, Neil Armstrong could see the designated landing area would have been in a rocky area near West Crater.

He had to change the flight path and find a safe landing spot.

 

  • November 19, 1969 – Apollo 12

Commander and astronaut Charles Conrad Jr. performing an experiment during Apollo 12

The second manned lunar landing took place on November 19, 1969 by Apollo 12, crewed by Commander Charles Conrad and pilot Alan Bean.

The two astronauts landed in the area called Oceanus Procellarum near Surveyor crater, and close to Surveyor 3, an unmanned spacecraft which had landed two and a half years earlier.

 

  • Apollo 14 – February 5, 1971

One of the experiments astronaut Alan B. Shepard conducted on Apollo 14 was striking two golf balls

The third manned moon landing was made on February 5, 1971, by the lunar module of Apollo 14, crewed by Commander Alan Shepard and pilot Edgar Mitchell.

They landed 21km north of the Fra Mauro crater.

The astronauts collected samples, took photographs and conducted experiments, one of them being Shepard striking two golf balls.

 

  • Apollo 15 – July 30, 1971

The Apollo 15 was the first mission to use the Lunar Revolving Vehicle

Apollo 15 was the fourth manned lunar landing which took place on July 30, 1971.

Pilot James Irwin landed in the Mare Imbrium area, close to the Montes Apenninus.

The Lunar Rover was used for the first time, allowing the astronauts to explore a much larger area.

 

  • Apollo 16 – April 21, 1972

John Young salutes the U.S. flag at the Descartes landing site on the moon in April 1972

The fifth manned moon landing was made on April 21, 1972, by the lunar module of Apollo 16 that was commanded by John Young and piloted by Charles Duke.

They landed in the Descartes area north of the Dolland crater, leaving pilot Thomas Mattingly in charge of the orbiting command module.

The astronaut, who walked on the moon and later commanded the first space shuttle flight, died in 2018 aged 87.

 

  • Apollo 17 – December 11, 1972

Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, rides the Lunar Roving Vehicle during Apollo 17’s mission

The last manned landing on the Moon, which took place on December 11, 1972, was made by Commander Eugene Cernan and lunar module pilot Harrison Schmitt who was also the first scientist on the Moon.

They used a Lunar Rover vehicle to travel 18.6 miles (30 kilometers).

On December 14, after a 75-hour long stay, they lifted off and docked with the command module.

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