Photo of Teary-Eyed Neil Armstrong Taken Right After He First Walked on the Moon


Here’s a small piece of history that’ll get you going and inspired to take on the week: a photo of Neil Armstrong taken only moments after he returned from first walking on the moon. A teary-eyed Armstrong looks at the camera, rendered speechless by what he has just experienced.

It’s a beautiful portrait taken by Buzz Aldrin after they returned to the Lunar Excursion Module, and beautifully captures the emotions he later put into words when he said, “It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”

Check it out in high-res here.

(via PictureCorrect)

Image credits: Photograph by Buzz Aldrin/NASA

  • ganso

    I never noticed the little heart in the bottom right corner. Is makes the image even cuter :)

  • superduckz

    A fantasctic image image that makes me as “What the hell happened to us”? When did we get so meek and stop attempting great things? And don’t even try to say money. The entire NASA budget as a percentage is a fraction of a fraction.

  • planetMitch

    But Aldrin obviously didn’t know the rule of thirds… Neil is dead center – hence ruining the photo ;)

  • @JacksonCheese

    From what I understand, there are internal struggles within NASA right now as far as in which direction they’d like to go. Manned vs. Unmanned, and Near Earth vs. Deep Space.

    One camp wants to keep putting guys up there, and explore the nearby solar system, and the other wants to put up deep space telescopes to look deep into the universe. There’s only so much funding, so nothing really gets accomplished.

  • Mike

    But what specific need is there to do so? What exact mission is there to be done? We have probes on and around other planets and we have Voyager(s) at the edges of our home. And still we know so little. What would be a grand thing to do? Put some men on Mars? And then what? What would we gain from it that we cannot gain with probes? Should we just keep sending stuff out there for no real reason? How is all this not great enough already?

  • ThatGuy

    Yep, and they should have cropped or cloned out that heart-shaped distraction. You’d think they never heard of Photoshop back then, sheeeesh.


  • ThatGuy

    He was probably happy to be alive.

  • Marc Jones

    Short list, asteroid belt mining robotic or not, men on Mars, terraforming Mars, next up Jupiter’s moons… ya know, the things needed for the survival and expansion of humanity. The solar system at least is our oyster. Ever forward.

  • Marc Jones

    More likely he just realized what it meant to be really and truly alive.

  • superduckz

    Well said sir!

  • NewYorkEd

    Nice photo. It would be even nicer to know the year it was it taken?

  • Billaww

    Amrstrong has always been referred as “The first Man to walk on the moon”, now you have the title “The first Man to not know when USA landed on the moon”.

  • Fernando Callo

    It’s a 6×6 film, you can compose in the center. It’s not a LAW.

  • cpt

    It’s like you’d say to your children when they leave their toys scattered about, “You can’t have another planet until you learn to look after the one you have”…

  • Stephen Benson

    Pac-Man! Even cuter.

  • Tzctplus -

    We have only one planet . Knowing what we know it should be a priority as a species to populate other planets, and in the long term, other Solar systems .

  • ApparentlyWeHaveARockStarHere

    Ruining the photo?… Um, ok.

  • ApparentlyWeHaveARockStarHere

    Ruining the photo?… Um, ok.

  • planetMitch

    Did you not see the wink? ;) It is called sarcasm

  • Jonno Wade

    My thoughts exactly! Neil Armstrong has walked on the moon so many times that it’s hard to figure out if this was in 1969, or……….. crap.
    I rescind my support of the previous comment.

  • Marcus Dashoff

    A good photographer knows when to follow the rules, a great photographer knows when to break the rules.