Over the course of 11 missions, Apollo astronauts embarked on a series of firsts: the first time men orbited the moon (Apollo 8), the first men to land on the moon (Apollo 11), and, sadly, the first (and only) rolls of film that were left on the moon (Apollo 12).
Each mission came with a list of images to capture. For the moon missions, the astronauts were given charts, called “targets of opportunity,” which mapped out sites to capture and how best to capture them, including which film, lens, and camera settings to use.
Some of the images taken for scientific purposes have become iconic. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin’s photograph of his space suit’s footprint, for instance, shot during the first moon landing in 1969, was actually taken to examine the nature of lunar dust. The photographs that astronauts took with their extra film have been equally important, such as Earthrise (1968), one of the most famous views of our home.