Fifty years ago, one of the most important and talked-about moments in space history took place – the moon landing. On July 16, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a journey to the Moon and into history. After setting his foot on the rigid surface, Neil Armstrong proclaimed it as "one small step for a man, but a giant leap for mankind."
The 50th anniversary of this historic event is also celebrated at Continuum residences in Miami Beach with an exclusive month-long exhibition. Titled Space—Time—Continuum, the show will present the never-before-seen photos from the space agency's most historic missions between 1955 and 1994, drawn from a private collection.
Miami-Based Rudolf Budja, one of the country’s most private collectors, has acquired the world’s most complete vintage photo collection of original prints developed from NASA’s most historic lunar missions. The collection, now part of Budja's personal archive at Rudolf Budja Gallery in Miami Beach and estimated to be in the eight-figure range, now holds 8,000 pictures which remain under the copyright of NASA. Each image has the original typed description by NASA on the back, the date the it was taken, the respective mission, together with a stamp of authenticity given by NASA administration.
Since the inception of NASA in the mid-1950s, more than 250 robotic spacecraft and 24 humans have ventured into space. This collection traces 40 years of space travel through a number of important exploratory milestones, including the first NASA launch of Pioneer 1 from Cape Canaveral in 1958; the launch of Friendship 7 with John Glenn as the first American to go in to orbit in 1962; Gemini 4 taking astronaut Ed White to perform the first American spacewalk in 1965; Apollo 8 carrying the first 3-man crew in to space in 1968; the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969; the tragedy of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 and Space Shuttle Endeavour’s mission to complete the first three-person space walk in 1992.
Budja himself has selected 40 of NASA’s never-before-seen prints developed from its most famous and historic missions between 1955 and 1994 for this exciting exhibition, including original images from the 1969 Apollo 11 mission on the occasion of its 50-Year Anniversary this year.
Other highlights of the show include the most infamous photograph taken by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, of Neil Armstrong’s boot imprint after becoming the first to set foot on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969; the first photo taken of the earth from space by astronaut John Glenn; the earth from the moon’s surface (moon and earth in the same photo-frame), the Apollo 11 shuttle launch and the U.S astronauts boarding and landing from all the Apollo and Gemini missions.
Rudolf Budja is looking forward to presenting this carefully chosen selection of the rarest photography from NASA’s photo to the public. As he explained, "no one outside of NASA has been able to witness the original film of images developed at the time of these historic missions."
Over the last 12 months, I have combed through the entire archive – all 8,000 prints – to choose 40 of the most captivating photographs that tell the story of these enthralling four decades of astral achievement. I’ve learned the true meaning of how a picture really does say a thousand words.
The exhibition Space—Time—Continuum will be on view at Continuum residences in Miami Beach from October 24 to November 24, 2019.
Featured images: Armstrong, Footprint on the Moon, Apollo 11; From NASA Photo Archive. All images courtesy of Continuum residences.