Just off the Keck Central Rotunda, three lightboxes illustrate the wonder of human exploration of the Moon.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, NASA fulfilled President Kennedy’s goal of sending people to the Moon and returning them safely to Earth. In the course of the missions, twelve men walked on the surface of the Moon and brought back over 800 pounds of Moon rocks. Spectacular photographs taken by the astronauts document this stunning accomplishment.
Edward H. White II becomes the first American to walk in space, 100 miles above the Earth, during the Gemini IV mission on June 3, 1965. White uses a small hand-held rocket to maneuver during his 21-minute space walk. A gold-wrapped 23-foot tether prevents him from drifting away and provides White oxygen and communications. His capsule is reflected in his gold visor. (James A. McDivitt/NASA)
The first people to orbit the moon, the crew of Apollo 8, captured an image of Earth rising above the barren horizon of the Moon on December 24, 1968, that delivers a cosmic perspective of our home planet. Africa is visible at the lower edge of the Earth along the line marking the sunset, and the Atlantic Ocean is centered. (Apollo 8/NASA)
Buzz Aldrin stands amidst the “magnificent desolation” of Tranquility Base during the first human landing on the Moon on July 20,1969. Neil Armstrong, the photographer, and the Lunar Module Eagle are reflected in Aldrin’s gold visor. A surface contact sensor and a footpad of the Eagle are in the foreground. (Apollo 11 / NASA)