History may know NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin as the second man to walk on the moon, but he does have the distinction of being the first to take a selfie in the outer limits of space.
Aldrin’s iconic 1966 photo on Gemini 12 is a modest 8 inches by 10 inches, and in one corner of the frame Aldrin stares at the camera in partial shadow with a slice of the planet Earth and the blackness of space serving as his unmatched backdrop, the National Geographic reported Saturday.
The magazine said the Aldrin photo is among a treasure trove of 700 vintage NASA images that will be offered for sale this week in London.
“From the Earth to the Moon” is how the event is being billed by Bloomsbury Auctions. Some of the photos were never released by NASA.
“It includes the first photograph from space taken from a V-2 rocket, and concludes with the final photograph taken by Apollo 17, which was the last (spacecraft) to go to the moon,” an auction house spokesman said. “It is really encyclopedic. It also includes some extremely rare large-format photos.”
The photos are being put up for sale by a private collector who acquired them over the years from NASA employees willing to part with rare documents of America’s space-age past.