Project Apollo

This is a collection of the media resources available on the Scientific Visualization Studio website relating to NASA's Apollo missions to the Moon. More information and media can be found at

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Stories

  • Share Your Apollo Story with NASA
    2019.06.19
    NASA invites you to contribute to an oral history project celebrating giant leaps and exploration of all kinds. You can help NASA tell the Apollo story by sharing your own perspective on lunar exploration, or by interviewing a loved one who lived during the Apollo era. NASA will select some submissions to feature in the audio series, on its website and/or social media. Visit nasa.gov/apollostories for more information on how to participate.
  • Jack Schmitt: From Apollo 17 to LRO
    2017.11.20
    December 11, 2017 marks the 45th anniversary of the day NASA's Apollo 17 mission landed on the Moon. This video connects that history to the current Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission through the eyes of astronaut Harrison Jack Schmitt. As a geologist and Apollo 17 crewmember, Schmitt has a unique perspective about how data being collected by LRO enhances our current understanding of lunar science and lays the groundwork for future explorers.
  • Apollo 13 Views of the Moon in 4K
    2020.02.24
    Data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft now makes it possible to show what the Apollo 13 astronauts saw as they flew around the far side of the Moon. This video showcases visualizations in 4K resolution of many of those lunar surface views, starting with earthset and sunrise, and concluding with the time Apollo 13 reestablished radio contact with Mission Control. Also depicted is the path of the free return trajectory around the Moon, and a continuous view of the Moon throughout that path.
  • The Best Gift of All: A Box of Moon Soil
    2019.12.23
    Astrochemist Jamie Elsila, at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, unwraps pristine Moon soil. Apollo 17 astronauts collected it in 1972 by driving tubes down to 10.6 inches (27 centimeters) below the Moon’s surface and pulling out soil that they vacuum-sealed inside the tube right on the Moon. That tube has never been opened … until recently.
  • Apollo Moon Soil Radiation Experiment
    2019.09.17
    When a stream of charged particles known as the solar wind careens into the Moon’s surface at nearly 280 miles per second (450 kilometers per second), it enriches the Moon’s surface in ingredients that could make water, NASA scientists have found. In this experiment, planetary scientists Jason McLain and William Farrell, from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, are testing how this process works and the chemical signatures it leaves behind, which can be detected by remote sensing or surface instruments.
  • NASA Science Live: 50 Years of Apollo (Episode 7)
    2019.07.23
    This episode of NASA Science Live is from the USS Hornet, the boat that carried the Apollo 11 capsule after it landed in 1969 and today we are celebrating NASA's 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.
  • Apollo 11: This Is Goddard
    2019.07.31
    On July 24, 1969, the Apollo 11 mission concluded with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. This 1969 documentary showcases how NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, supported the historic mission.

Landing Sites

  • From Apollo Sites To The South Pole
    2020.07.20
    The Apollo program landed six pairs of astronauts on the Moon between 1969 and 1972. All six landing sites are at low latitudes, near the equator. In this visualization, the Apollo sites are contrasted with the South Pole, an area with enormous potential for future exploration. Time passes as we zoom toward Shackleton crater at the South Pole, revealing illumination conditions quite different from those near the equator. While many craters remain in permanent shadow, some nearby mountains and ridges are in persistent sunshine, making them attractive candidates for solar power and long-term habitation.
  • Apollo Landing Sites with Moon Phases
    2019.03.29
    The NASA Apollo missions landed at six sites on the Moon between 1969 and 1972. As seen in this visualization, all of the sites are near the equator on the near side (the side facing the Earth), and all of the landings took place fairly soon after local sunrise, when the lunar surface was cool and the shadows threw the terrain into high relief, making navigation easier.
  • New LRO Images Offer Sharper Views of Apollo 12, 14, and 17 Sites
    2011.09.06
    NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has captured the sharpest images ever taken from space of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 sites, revealing the twists and turns of the paths made when the astronauts explored these areas.
  • Hyperwall: Scouting the Apollo 11 Landing Site
    2019.04.04
    Prior to the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing, the proposed landing site was surveyed by both robotic spacecraft and astronaut photographers. Images from Ranger, Lunar Orbiter, and Apollo 8 and 10 were all used to search for the best site for the first landing.
  • A New Look at the Apollo 11 Landing Site
    2014.07.18
    LROC imagery makes it possible to visit the landing site in a whole new way by flying around a three-dimensional model of the site. LROC scientists created the digital elevation model using a stereo pair of images. Each image in the pair shows the site from a slightly different angle, allowing sophisticated software to infer the shape of the terrain, similar to the way that left and right eye views are combined in the brain to produce the perception of depth.
  • The Apollo 12 Landing Site
    2019.11.19
    Apollo 12 landed on the Moon a little before 1:00 a.m. Houston time on November 19, 1969, four months after Apollo 11. The Lunar Module, nicknamed Intrepid and flown by Charles "Pete" Conrad and Alan Bean, made a pinpoint landing just 160 meters (520 feet) from the Surveyor 3 probe that had landed two and a half years earlier. In images of the landing site taken more than four decades later by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a number of artifacts are clearly visible.
  • Apollo 14 Hike To Cone Crater
    2021.02.08
    This visualization uses LRO images and elevation data to recreate the hike to Cone crater, the second moonwalk by Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell. The camera flies near the ground, along the outbound path taken by the astronauts. Stops along the way are labeled with distance and elevation information. The journey ends by showing how close the astronauts came to a spectacular view of the crater.
  • The Taurus-Littrow Valley through LRO's Eyes
    2018.03.23
    This visualization of the Taurus-Littrow valley, site of the Apollo 17 Moon landing, uses multiple Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter datasets to zoom into the valley and illustrate the paths taken by the astronauts during their three days of exploration at the site.
  • Apollo 17 Landing Site
    2015.12.08
    The images here are designed for display on NASA's hyperwall. They help tell the story of Apollo 17's exploration of the Taurus-Littrow site using data and imaging from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and photographs taken by the astronauts. LRO's detailed and comprehensive remote sensing capabilities have fostered a reinterpretation of the geology of the site.
  • Lee Lincoln Scarp at the Apollo 17 Landing Site
    2019.05.13
    The Lee Lincoln scarp is a low ridge or step about 80 meters high and running north-south through the western end of the Taurus-Littrow valley, site of the Apollo 17 Moon landing. This lobate scarp marks the location of a relatively young, low-angle thrust fault. The land west of the fault was forced up and over the eastern side as the lunar crust contracted. The Apollo 17 astronauts drove their lunar rover onto the scarp during their second day on the lunar surface, and this remains the only extraterrestrial scarp visited by humans.
  • Tour of the Moon 4K Redux
    2018.04.09
    In the fall of 2011, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission released its original Tour of the Moon, a five-minute animation that takes the viewer on a virtual tour of our nearest neighbor in space. Six years later, the tour has been recreated in eye-popping 4K resolution, using the same camera path and drawing from the vastly expanded data trove collected by LRO in the intervening years. The tour includes an extended stop at the Apollo 17 landing site.
  • Hubble Space Telescope Looks at the Moon to Prospect for Resources (Apollo 17 Landing Region)
    2005.10.18
    The Hubble Space Telescope looked at specific areas of the moon prospecting for important minerals that may aid future sustained human presence on the moon. This visualization starts with a view of the moon as seen from Earth using a USGS Apollo derived artist rendered texture (airbrushed). The camera then zooms into the Apollo 17 landing region using Clementine data (the outer area after the camera pauses), high resolution HST data (the inner area), and Apollo 17 derived topography.
  • Apollo Landing Sites, with Shadows
    2009.07.16
    The six Apollo lunar landing sites are all relatively near the equator on the side of the Moon that faces the Earth. Left behind at each site is the lower half of the Lunar Module, called the descent stage. It carried most of the astronauts' supplies and served as the launchpad for their return trip to the Command and Service Module in orbit around the Moon. This brief animation shows the locations of the Apollo landing sites, with lengthening shadows as each site approaches lunar nightfall. The gold LM markers are about 20,000 times actual size.

Apollo Photos and Movies

  • Earthrise: The 45th Anniversary
    2013.12.20
    Using photo mosaics and elevation data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, this video commemorates the 45th anniversary of Apollo 8's historic flight by recreating the moment when the crew first saw and photographed the Earth rising from behind the Moon. Narrator Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon, sets the scene for a three-minute visualization of the view from both inside and outside the spacecraft accompanied by the onboard audio of the astronauts.
  • Earthrise in 4K
    2018.12.21
    This is a new, ultra-high definition (UHD, or 4K) version of the Earthrise visualization first published in 2013.
  • Apollo 8 - 50th Anniversary Montage
    2018.12.20
    This video is a montage of NASA archival footage from the Apollo 8 mission.
  • Apollo 13 Moon View Using LRO Data
    2020.02.24
    Using color and elevation maps from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, these visualizations recreate with unprecedented fidelity what the crew of Apollo 13 could see as they flew around the far side of the Moon. Several Apollo 13 photographs are at the bottom of the page for comparison.
  • The Blue Marble From Apollo 17
    2015.07.20
    View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. This translunar coast photograph extends from the Mediterranean Sea area to the Antarctica south polar ice cap. This is the first time the Apollo trajectory made it possible to photograph the south polar ice cap. Note the heavy cloud cover in the Southern Hemisphere. Almost the entire coastline of Africa is clearly visible. The Arabian Peninsula can be seen at the northeastern edge of Africa. The large island off the east coast of Africa is the Republic of Madagascar. The Asian mainland is on the horizon toward the northeast.
  • From Earth to the Moon
    2016.01.14
    Explore amazing archival images from NASA’s Apollo program.
  • Apollo 15 Rectified Stereo Stills: Krieger
    2008.08.01
    This entry offers a set of stereoscopic images of the lunar suface captured during the Apollo mission 15. The images feature craters: Krieger, Rocco and Ruth and their surrounding areas. Imagery is offered in various modes, such as: left and right stereo stills, with and without captions and scale information, and 3D anaglyphs.
  • Apollo 15 Rectified Anaglyph Stereo Panorama
    2008.08.01
    This page offers a corrected stereoscopic pair in Anaglyph 3D mode captured during Apollo mission 15. The imagery features craters: Krieger, Rocco and Ruth. You can navigate the online image by using the zoom and pan controls at the bottom center of the online image viewer and use the inset red box at the upper left corner as a reference. Red/Cyan stereo glasses are required to view it properly.
  • Apollo 15 Rectified Stereo Panorama - Left and Right Eye Imagery
    2008.08.01
    This page provides a rectified and digitally corrected stereoscopic panoramic pair from Apollo mission 15, featuring craters Krieger, Rocco and Ruth. The imagery is provided for left and right eye separately and in various dimensions.

Restored Apollo 11 Video (2009)