An astronaut prepares Apollo 11, part of the Space Steps exhibition

Space Steps: The Moon and Beyond

Space Steps: The Moon and Beyond celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing – one of humankind’s most extraordinary adventures.

On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon.

This Royal Photographic Society exhibition commemorates this incredible milestone.

Buzz Aldrin salutes the American flag on the Moon
Buzz Aldrin saluting flag. Apollo 11 © NASA

An extraordinary story

Space Steps: The Moon and Beyond explores the journey of Apollo 11, illustrated by some of the most remarkable and iconic images ever captured on film.

The exhibition traces the story of the earlier Mercury and Gemini space missions and the Apollo programme up to 1969.

It also pays tribute to the crucial role women played in the space programme.

Recognising the importance of space exploration today and providing a contemporary focus, the exhibition presents Ascension, an interactive installation by Mexican-British photographer Monica Alcazar-Duarte.

It explores how scientists working in facilities across Europe, are engaging in a new space race.

An image of the Lunar-Mars workshop, part of the Space Steps exhibition
Lunar-Mars workshop © Monica Alcazar Duarte

A unified Earth

A rare camera with its own unique space story is on show throughout the exhibition.

Film producer Keith Haviland has lent the RPS his special Hasselblad camera.

“This Hasselblad was personally selected by astronaut Wally Schirra for his flight on Mercury-Atlas 8,” said Haviland.

“It is particularly important because it took the first high-quality photographs from Earth orbit, showing us images of a single, fragile planet without borders.

“Such images of a unified Earth had a profound effect on the astronauts and on people back on Earth.

“It also began a long association between Hasselblad and the American space program.”

The Earth, surface of the Moon and Lunar Module can all be seen in this NASA image. Part of RPS' Space Steps exhibition.
The Earth, the Moon and the Lunar Module. Apollo 11 © NASA

A momentous occasion

Space Steps: The Moon and Beyond is curated by Deborah Ireland.

Ireland’s recent book Hasselblad and the Moon Landing explores the relationship between photography and space.

“The 1969 moon landing was the culmination of nearly ten years of sustained effort by NASA,” said Ireland.

“For those who saw those first pictures it was a momentous occasion, inspiring the general public and a new generation of scientists.

“Some 50 years later, man is embarking on a new era of space exploration to the moon, Mars and beyond which is already exciting people today.

Space Steps aims to remind people of that journey, the excitement that the Apollo 11 mission generated and to look into the future.”

Monica Alcazar-Duarte's image of an anechoic chamber. Part of the Space Steps exhibition.
Anechoic Chamber © Monica Alcazar-Duarte

Space Steps

The exhibition is on at RPS House, Bristol, until September 29.

For further information, admission prices and the large programme of events connected to the exhibition, visit rps.org/spacesteps.

Spectrum Photographic produced the exhibition prints.

Main image: Apollo preparation © NASA

Buzz Aldrin near the north footpad with Neil Armstrong reflection in visor
Buzz Aldrin near the north footpad with Neil Armstrong reflection in visor © NASA

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