Neil Armstrong descending the LM ladder to take man’s first step on the Moon, July 16-24, 1969

Space Mission
Apollo 11, July 16-24, 1969, 109:22:59 GET

Taken by the Westinghouse TV camera mounted to the LM’s porch

Photo Description
Vintage gelatin silver print on fiber-based paper, 20.3 x 25.4cm (8 x 10in), numbered “NASA S-69- 42583” (NASA MSC) in black in top margin
20.3 x 25.4cm (8 x 10in)

One of the most historic images of all time.

The camera was stored in the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA) on the LM porch. Armstrong released the MESA when he first looked out the window of the LM, so that the camera could be in a position to capture his slow descent down the ladder and onto the lunar surface.

The decision to start the EVA procedure was made a few hours after the landing. At 02:56 GMT (09:56 p.m. Houston time) on the 21st of July, 109 hours and 24 minutes after launch, Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon.

In addition to the Hasselblad photographs are the B&W TV still images of Apollo 11.
The first TV transmission from another world was transmitted live to an Earthbound audience estimated at 600 million people. Armstrong’s historic descent from the LM was captured by the Westinghouse camera. The downlink was being transmitted to Earth from this remote slow-scan, B&W video camera to the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station in Canberra, Australia.

“The ethereal look of these “live” B&W TV images mixed with the silver-grain textures of B&W film belongs to our collective memory. In some respects, both the aesthetics and the nature of how and where these B&W images were made complement Armstrong and Aldrin’s Hasselblad surface photography. Moreover, they document the first human to descend to the surface of another celestial world on film through video. These “mixed media” images made it possible to photograph and participate in an historic event as it happened off of a live TV broadcast without even being there” (Dick, p.279).

109:23:38 Armstrong: I’m at the foot of the ladder. The LM footpads are only depressed in the surface about 1 or 2 inches, although the surface appears to be very, very fine grained, as you get close to it. It’s almost like a powder. (The) ground mass is very fine.
109:24:12 Armstrong: Okay. I’m going to step off the LM now.
109:24:23 Armstrong: That’s one small step for (a) man; one giant leap for mankind.

“That’s one small step for (a) man; one giant leap for mankind.”
Neil Armstrong