This photograph, captured at 110:58:16, marks the beginning of a series documenting Buzz Aldrin as he transports the EASEP (Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package) to its designated deployment site, situated south of the spacecraft. In this particular image, Aldrin is seen traversing the elevated rim of a small crater, as mentioned at 110:58:16. A distinct spray of lunar dust emanates from his left boot, illustrating the movement across the crater.
Aldrin holds the LRRR (Lunar Ranging Retro Reflector) in his right hand, while the seismometer package is gripped in his left hand. As we observe Buzz from behind, the OPS (Oxygen Purge System) antenna is visible edge-on, seemingly disappearing in lower-quality scans and prints. A detailed view reveals two columns of horizontal Velcro strips adorning the back of his PLSS (Portable Life Support System).
The NASA press release text on the back reads:
Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., were launched to the Moon by a Saturn V Launch vehicle 9:32 a.m. July 16, 1969 from Complex 39A Cape Kennedy, Fla. Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon July 20, 1969 and after take-off from the Moon July 21, joined Collins in the Command Module circling the Moon. The Astronauts splashed down in the Pacific Ocean and recovery was made by the U.S.S. Hornet at 12:50 p.m. EDT July 24, 1969.
The official NASA notes about this image are as follows:
110:58:16. This photograph is the first in a sequence of pictures Neil took of Buzz carrying the EASEP out to the deployment site a short way south of the spacecraft. In this picture, he is walking across the raised rim of the small crater he comments on at 110:58:16. Note the spray of dust spreading out in front of his left boot. The piece of equipment in his right hand is the LRRR, while the seismometer package is in his left hand. Note that, in this view from behind Buzz, we are seeing his OPS antenna edge on. In lower-quality scans and prints, it all but disappears. A detail shows the two columns of horizontal Velcro strips on the back of his PLSS.
The Apollo 11 mission, launched on July 16, 1969, was a historic and groundbreaking spaceflight that marked the first time humans set foot on the moon. Led by commander Neil A. Armstrong, lunar module pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and command module pilot Michael Collins, the mission achieved the ambitious goal set by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to land humans on the moon and return them safely to Earth. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin spent over two hours exploring the lunar surface, collecting samples, and conducting experiments, while Collins orbited above in the command module. Armstrong's famous words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," encapsulate the monumental impact of the Apollo 11 mission on human history, as it demonstrated the incredible achievements made possible through scientific innovation, collaboration, and determination.