July 20 of this year will mark the semicentennial of the Apollo 11 moon landing. In celebration of this historic mission, TASCHEN is releasing a special 50th anniversary edition of its book MoonFire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11.
The book features text by Norman Mailer, whose original work was titled Of a Fire on the Moon when it was first published in Life magazine. Mailer, who is famous for his role in the New Journalism movement of the 1960s and '70s, reportedly finished this 115,000-word piece on a tight deadline less than three weeks after the astronauts returned to Earth.
The photos are perhaps the real standout, though. "This volume includes hundreds of images sourced from the NASA vaults, magazine archives, and private collections, documenting the lead up to, aftermath, and breathtaking moments of that giant leap for mankind," TASCHEN writes in its description of the 348-page hardcover book.
In one section, there's a full-page photo of astronauts Ted Freeman, Buzz Aldrin, and Charlie Bassett floating around in NASA's KC135 aircraft—which was aptly nicknamed the "Vomit Comet"—as part of a zero-gravity training exercise. However, Aldrin would be the only one to make it to space, as both Freeman and Bassett ended up dying in aircraft accidents.
Another photo shows a close-up look at Aldrin's boot as he leaves a footprint on the moon. There are also shots of Neil Armstrong, taken by Aldrin on a 16-mm film camera, as he takes his first lunar steps. Then he uttered the famous words that we all know today: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.”
The book, which will be released in June, can be pre-ordered for $50 on TASCHEN's website.