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Apollo Space Mission’s Iconic Photographs Up For Auction

Rare collection to feature first Earthrise witnessed by humans and the celebrated 'Blue Marble' shot
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Iconic photographs taken by astronauts during the Apollo space missions will go under the hammer next month, with some expected to fetch as much as $12,707.

The original collection, chronicling man’s most daring adventure, is part of auction house Dreweatt‘s upcoming Space Exploration and Ephemera sale.

The photos, taken by astronauts including Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, include images of the first Earthrise witnessed by humans and the celebrated “Blue Marble” shot showing our lonely planet fully illuminated by the sun, taken by the crew of Apollo 17 as they traveled towards the moon.

Iconic photographs taken by astronauts during the Apollo space missions will go under the hammer next month. DREWEATTS/SWNS

The snaps feature as part of 330 lots and 1,200 photographs in Drewatt’s sale, which is due to take place on Thursday, June 29.

The Apollo program was the third United States human spaceflight program carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), between 1968 and 1972.

Photographs documenting man’s first encounter with the moon were pre-planned and integrated into the missions, though some unscheduled photos were also taken by astronauts.

They operated specially adapted, lightweight Hasselblad cameras, whilst photography company Kodak was responsible for processing the images once back on Earth.

The photographic laboratory of North American Rockwell’s Space Division processed and printed the photos on vintage Kodak paper immediately after the Apollo missions for documentation, analysis, and public relations purposes.

They were of great scientific significance to provide a visual record of the mission’s achievements and evaluate the performance of the spacecraft.

The sale collection is derived from a chief technician of North American Rockwell’s Space Division – a company which played a major role in the missions as prime contractor for the Command and Service Module, much like how Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin have now partnered with NASA to construct a future spacecraft to return to the Moon with the Artemis program.

These era-defining photos present the opportunity for space-history connoisseurs to relive the moments these individuals dared to take a giant leap for mankind.

A photo of the otherworldly beauty of “Earthrise,” the view of our planet rising above the moon’s horizon in lunar orbit – and the first time such phenomenon was experienced by humans – is expected to fetch between $3,176 to $6,353 in the sale.

Meanwhile, “The Moon,” also taken on the 1968 Apollo 8 mission and showcasing a stunning near-full moon on the crew’s homeward journey, is valued at $762 to $1,016.

The instantly recognizable “Visor” portrait of Buzz Aldrin standing on the moon’s surface, with photographer Neil Armstrong reflected in his gold-plated visor, could fetch up to $3,812.

But the centerpiece of the auction is the unmistakable 1972 “Blue Marble” photo of our planet fully illuminated by the sun, which, taken on the final Apollo landing mission – Apollo 17 – presented life on Earth irrefutably in a new perspective.

The photo, in an uncommonly large format presentation, is expected to sell for between $6,353 – $12,707.

Dreweatt’s sale will also boast a number of on-the-ground training and pre-launch preparation photographs captured by photographers employed by NASA to document the great achievements of the missions.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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