On Wikipedia page on Moon landing, Neil Armstrong is shown stepping down on the surface of the Moon using the spaceship's ladder:

      One small step for Man

Still frame from a video transmission, taken moments before Neil Armstrong became the first human to step onto the surface of the Moon, at 02:56 UTC on 21 July 1969. An estimated 500 million people worldwide watched this event, the largest television audience for a live broadcast at that time. (Photograph and caption source: Wikipedia on Moon landing)

The camera is installed outside the spaceship, on the Moon's surface. Who put the camera there?

  • $\begingroup$ Oh you don't know? John Cena did!! $\endgroup$
    – Tachyon
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, my understanding is that this is Buzz Aldrin coming down. That very bright spot slightly to the left is Armstrong standing in direct sunlight, photographing Aldrin from the other side. See this video produced by NVidia $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 7:09

1 Answer 1


The Neil Armstrong's "First step on the Moon" was filmed by a camera installed on the MESA (Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly) at the side of the Apollo Lunar Module (LM) descent stage that Neil Armstrong had to pull a lanyard to unlock the pallet and make it drop open. A switch inside the LM, operated by Buzz Aldrin, then activated the TV camera which was installed there:

   enter image description here

   Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly installed and deployed open on the Apollo Lunar Module Descent Stage (Photo: NASA)

More information and photo galleries on Apollo TV are available on:

and of course in answers to the question on How did NASA achieve their live TV broadcast in 1969, here in our Space Exploration Q&A.

  • $\begingroup$ Sure. What could have possibly gone wrong? 😁 $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 21:41

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