In 1969, American astronauts Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first people ever to walk on the moon. One of them took this close-up photograph of one of Aldrin’s footprints on the moon’s surface, an image that helped scientists and others better understand the material character of the terrain. One of thousands of photographs taken during the expedition, it became an iconic representation of the moon landing and an emblem of humankind’s achievements in exploring outer space. Anyone could order prints of these photographs, which became popular well outside scientific circles.
Additional text from Seeing Through Photographs online course, Coursera, 2016