Panorama of Little West Crater in the Sea of Tranquility (four photos)

Space Mission
Apollo 11, 16-24 July 1969

La Lune: Du Voyage Réel aux Voyages Imaginaires, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais exhibition catalog, ppg. 30-31, no. 22 illustrates this panorama

Neil Armstrong

Photo Description
Vintage gelatin silver prints on fiber-based paper
10 h × 8 w in (25 × 20 cm); Numbered to margin of each photo ‘AS11-40-5955’, ‘AS11-40-5957’, ‘AS11-40-5959’ and ‘AS11-40-5960’.

This is possibly the most striking example of moonscape witnessed during the first mission to another world. Neil Armstrong’s solitary exploration of Little West Crater was not scheduled and the rim of this crater was the farthest point traversed on Apollo 11.
Shortly before entering the LM, Armstrong walked back about 65m eastward from Eagle to photograph the interior of a crater several feet deep and about 30m across that he noted during descent. (NASA SP-214, p. 29)

This extremely rare panoramic sequence reveals that the interior slopes of the crater are strewn with rocks and boulders. The intense blackness of shadow on the lunar surface can be seen from the shadows cast by the crater rim. The foreground object with the handle is the gold stereo camera, designed to take close-up photographs of the very top layer of the lunar soil.

“I went the farthest. While Buzz was returning from the EASEP, I went back to a big crater behind us. It was a crater that I’d estimate to be 70 or 80 feet in diameter and 15 or 20 feet deep. I went back to take some pictures of that ; it was between 200 and 300 feet from the LM. I ran there and ran back because I didn’t want to spend much time doing that, but it was no trouble to make that kind of a trek – a couple of hundred feet or so. It just took a few minutes to lope back there, take those pictures, and then come back.”
—Neil Armstrong (1969 Technical Debrief, from the ALSJ mission transcript at 111:12:31 GET)