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Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. Flag on the Moon

Neil Armstrong, American, 1930–2012
Chromogenic print
Photographed in
Current Location
Not on view
each: 8 x 8 in. (20.3 x 20.3 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Ronald and Mary Jo Anderson
Public Domain
Object Number
This color print was taken during the July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 landing on the moon, one of the most memorable events of the second half of the 20th century. Commander Neil Armstrong was tasked with documenting the moon walk, and took views of fellow astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin standing with the Eagle landing capsule and conducting scientific experiments. The most famous of these images shows Aldrin with the United States flag after it had been planted on the lunar surface. Since there are no air currents on the moon, the flag had to be stiffened with a rod to make it appear as if it were waving. While untrained as a photographer, Armstrong quickly became adept at using a specially made Hasselblad camera that could be operated in outer space. He exposed several hundred negatives and the results are equally important as historic, scientific, and aesthetic statements.
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