27 Mind-Boggling Photos From The Project Apollo Archive

Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
Somewhere on the moon, you'll find a tiny plaque. It reads, "Here man completed his first explorations of the moon, December 1972 A.D. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind." The plaque was left at the end of the Apollo missions back in 1972. On the very last mission, Eugene A. Cernan, Ronald E. Evans, and Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt set up an automated research station. Cernan and Schmitt became the last two astronauts to ever land on the moon.

To celebrate the 43rd anniversary of Apollo 17, we rounded up 27 mind-boggling photos from the Apollo missions, in chronological order, curated from Kipp Teague's Project Apollo Archive. Most of the pics were taken with Hasselblad cameras mounted on astronauts' chests. They show what it was really like to go to the moon and back — and they remind us just how far we've come.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
Astronaut Donn F. Eisele, taken during Apollo 7 in 1968.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
An image from Apollo 9, earth orbit.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
Astronaut David Scott in Apollo 9, which launched in 1969.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
An astronaut on Apollo 9, with Earth in the background.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
An image of Earth during Apollo 9.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
An astronaut's footprint in the dust, from Apollo 11.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin next to a solar wind experiment on the moon during Apollo 11.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
An image of indentations on the moon's surface from Apollo 11.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
What appears to be condensation on a window during Apollo 12.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
A Hasselblad image from Apollo 12.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
Astronaut Pete Conrad on Apollo 12, using a lanyard to pull out ALSEP (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package), a collection of instruments meant to monitor the environment of each landing site. Each ALSEP has a lifespan of a year, NASA says (although Apollo 17's lasted for two years).
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
A photo of Earth, with the moon surface in the foreground. Taken from Apollo 12.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
Astronaut Pete Conrad, who is just about to take a sample from the moon with his tongs, on Apollo 12.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
Pete Conrad on Apollo 12, in the midst of a partial pan of the Middle Crescent Crater.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
The Lunar Module on Apollo 14.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
A lunar module atop an SIV-B during Apollo 15.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
A steep incline at the base of Mount Hadley, a mountain that rises 4,765 feet on the moon. Taken on the Apollo 15 mission.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
David Scott driving the Rover on the moon during Apollo 15. "At the front of the Rover, we can see the closed battery covers. In front of Jim's seat, we can see his footrests. Note that there is dust coming off the wheels as Dave maneuvers," NASA says.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
David Scott from Apollo 15, with the American flag and a lunar module in the background.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
Astronaut Ron Evans, with a packet of soup, during Apollo 17.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
The Apollo Command/Service Module, taken through a window during Apollo 17.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
Ron Evans puts on shaving cream while on board Apollo 17.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
A shot of Jack Schmitt during Apollo 17, near Tracy's Rock on the moon. The rock was named after Eugene Cernan's daughter; Cernan reportedly etched Tracy's initials into the moon's dust.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
An image of Earth, taken on Apollo 17.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
A photo of Earth, hovering over the U.S. flag on the moon, taken on Apollo 17. Note that Antarctica is visible on the southern portion.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
A photo of Earth, hovering over the U.S. flag on the moon, taken on Apollo 17.
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Photo: Courtesy of NASA.
A striking image of Eugene Cernan, the last man who walked on the moon. Taken by fellow astronaut Jack Schmitt, this photo was snapped at approximately 23:04 UTC on December 13, 1962. According to NASA, you can see Earth reflected on the upper part of Cernan's sun visor.
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