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Rare, stunning Apollo 11 moon landing pictures

You can see the earth out in the distance, hovering above the lunar landing module. Photo: NASA

You can see the earth out in the distance, hovering above the lunar landing module. Photo: NASA

It’s one of the most replayed moments in the history of the world, but even the moon landing has its unseen moments.

After 45 years in the NASA archives, TIME has uncovered stunning behind the scenes images of the Apollo 11 crew during their incredible mission.

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Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins took a whole heap of photos while being the first men to land on the moon, but not all were for public consumption.

Along with telling the stories of some of the more ubiquitous photos from the landing, TIME explored NASA’s catalogue of images for the more intimate moments the crew shared.

Amongst the shots, we learn just how cramped and claustrophobic the lunar landing module was.

We also see a photo of Armstrong just after he’s completed the moonwalk, sporting a wide smile from ear to ear.

Post moonwalk smile

neil armstrong apollo 11

Buzz Aldrin took this photo of Neil Armstrong shortly after he completed the first ever moon walk. Photo: NASA

Buzz Aldrin in the lunar module

Buzz Aldrin inside Lunar module

Notice the massive control panel behind him and notes stuck to the roof. Photo: NASA

Neil Armstrong took this photo of Buzz Aldrin, again in the lunar module. Again note the mess of paper and dials as the crew fly toward the moon. Photo: NASA

Neil Armstrong took this imperfect photo of Buzz Aldrin, again in the lunar module. Again note the mess of paper and dials as the crew fly toward the moon. Photo: NASA

First glimpse of lunar surface

moon surface photos nasa apollo 11

The crew took this photo during an early orbit of the moon, to make sure their film would advance properly. Photo: NASA

The second man on the moon

second man on the moon apollo 11

No one remembers who came second? Armstrong did. Here he snaps Aldrin as he’s about to be the second man on the moon. Photo: NASA

Buzz getting to work

apollo 11 moon landing

It wasn’t a sightseeing mission. Aldrin here takes surveying equipment onto the moon. Photo: NASA

Back where they came from

You can see the earth out in the distance, hovering above the lunar landing module. Photo: NASA

You can see the earth out in the distance, hovering above the lunar landing module. Photo: NASA

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