Historian Unveils Never-Seen Footage of Armstrong and Aldrin on the Moon

Amazing what you can find in the shadows, 50 years later.

A new look at old film revealed what was going on in the dark during the Apollo 11 mission. (Courtesy Robert Godwin)
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One last Apollo story, if you haven’t had your fill. And this is a good one.

Back in May, in preparation for the upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations of Apollo 11, space historian Robert Godwin was going through film footage he’d received from NASA years earlier. One particular sequence caught his eye in a copy of the internegative created in July 1969 from the original 16 mm film returned from the moon. Whereas subsequent views of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the surface—the ones we’ve all watched hundreds of times—show deep shadows around the lunar module that completely obscure the astronauts’ actions at times, Godwin could clearly see the two astronauts moving around in the shadows.

For the first time, we can now see what was happening right before Armstrong took one of the most famous photos in history, of Aldrin standing on the lunar surface.

Godwin told the whole story at last week’s EAA Airventure gathering in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. You can watch his talk and the footage at the 54:13 mark in the YouTube clip below.

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