Building Apollo: Photos from Moonshot History

Simulating Docking


The Rendezvous Docking Simulator allowed Gemini astronauts to practice for docking in Gemini missions. Later it was modified and used for Apollo astronauts as well.

Pre-Moonwalk Life


Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong operates the Iron Cross Attitude Simulator as a research pilot at the NACA-NASA High-Speed Flight Station. He served as a pilot for seven years before entering the space program.

Lunar Surface Simulation


An April 22, 1969 training exercise shows Apollo 11 crewmembers in a moon's surface simulation. During the exercise astronauts practice deploying and using lunar tools.



Aboard the KC-135 on July 10, 1969, astronaut Edwin Aldrin trains in zero-gravity in preparation for the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission.

Survival Skills


On Jan. 17, 1970, astronaut Thomas Mattingly II participates in water egress training at the Manned Spacecraft Center for the Apollo 13 lunar landing mission.

EVA Practice


Astronaut James A. Lovel, Jr., the future commander of Apollo 13, participates in an EVA walk-through at Kennedy Space Center.

LEMS Over Time


The Lunar Excursion Module Simulator, in a multiple-exposure image, moves during a nighttime training event to familiarize Apollo astronauts with handling a lunar-landing vehicle.

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Christine Lunsford
Producer and Contributing Writer

Christine Lunsford joined the team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.