In 1963 no one had walked the moon, which meant that nobody knew what to expect when they go there. So astronauts had go through a battery of creative, zero-gravity training on Earth, much of which looked terrifically silly. Fortunately, someone was taking pictures.
Years before they actually landed on the moon, astronauts like Buzz Aldrin were suspended from the Lunar Excursion Module Simulator (LEMS), a 60m-tall, 121m frame at the Lunar Landing Research Facility, to simulate the environment they’d encounter when they approached the moon. Practice obviously made perfect, because the U.S. finally successfully landed on the moon in 1969. Quick reminder: these are not photos from a movie set. [Interweb3000 via Retronaut]
This simulator was probably nothing like the real deal, but it at least helped with nerves.
In this picture, the astronaut is thinking about the first profound words he can say when he lands on the moon.
“Look mom, no hands!”
Even astronauts need a little help sometimes.
“Can you guys help me get out of this thing? Guys?”