History

Vintage Photos of Apollo Astronauts Invading Arizona Before Going to the Moon

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United States Geological Survey
First man on the moon Neil Armstrong at the Grand Canyon in 1964.
Long before they first stepped onto the moon, Neil Armstrong and other the astronauts of the Apollo program came to Arizona to train. Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, NASA brought its all-American space rangers to Flagstaff and elsewhere in Arizona to learn about lunar mapping and get schooled in interstellar geology. A lot of equipment was also tested here, including space suits, lunar rovers, scientific tools, and even a rocket pack. They even blew up a bunch of a small portion of the northern Arizona landscape in the name of science. Here’s a look back at how Arizona helped the Apollo program get to the moon.