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NASA archives: Behind-the-scenes look at the most iconic space missions

Apollo 9, 1969 The Apollo 9 lunar module is photographed in flight after separating from the command-service module on March 17, 1969. The string-like pieces on the four landing pods are the moon sensors, which tell pilots when touch down nears.

The Eagle Prepares to Land

The Eagle Prepares to Land The Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle, in a landing configuration was photographed in lunar orbit from the Command and Service Module Columbia. Inside the module were Commander Neil A. Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin. The long rod-like protrusions under the landing pods are lunar surface sensing probes. Upon contact with the lunar surface, the probes sent a signal to the crew to shut down the descent engine