The cost was 107 billion dollars for a giant leap for mankind but a trashy subject and framing for the first picture taken on the surface of the moon.
Unless you think the Earth is flat or that the Apollo images were recorded in a warehouse by Stanley Kubrick or the CIA, the lunar program, Apollo, was one of the greatest achievements in history. However, the first picture taken by Commander Neil Armstrong at the surface of the moon featured a “jettison bag” full of human waste and other unnecessary things. Weight control was critical on the small Lunar Module and any waste had to be discarded before starting the ascent back to the Command Module orbiting around the moon. Removing the jettison bag from the tiny cabin was one of the first items on the checklist before beginning the single extra-vehicular activity of the mission.
It’s unclear why Neil Armstrong caught the garbage bag on his Hasselblad camera, but it might have been a test picture of some sort. In any case, the mission commander quickly realized his artistic mishap and kicked the bag out of view under the Lunar Module. After a short 2.5-hour moonwalk, both astronauts came back onboard the module with 47 pounds of rock before taking off.
To be fair, the first picture taken on the surface of the moon was taken by the Soviet probe Luna 9 in 1966 after 11 unsuccessful attempts in the previous three years. The images were transmitted back to earth via an analog radio stream using a format identical to the internationally agreed Radiofax system used by newspapers for transmitting pictures.
Another fun fact about the Apollo 11 mission is the absence of picture of Armstrong posing for the camera. Except for the low-quality ladder video, all the famous shots feature the second astronaut, Buzz Aldrin. Only a few images show the commander in the background. In fact, the trash bag appears in more pictures than Neil Armstrong.
Images courtesy of NASA, public domain.