NASA has released a fascinating set of pictures detailing Apollo astronauts training for missions to the moon on the side of a Hawaiian volcano. The images, which were taken in the early 1970s, show astronauts from Apollo missions 14, 15 and 17 testing equipment, including the iconic lunar rover, on Big Island. The pictures were discovered by Rob Kelso, executive director of The Pacific International Space Centre for Exploration Systems, during a recent visit to the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas.
One, dating from 1970, shows Stuart Roost, Alan Shepard and Edgard Mitchell, the crew of Apollo 14, practising experiments in the volcanic dust. A second, taken in 1971, shows Harrison Schmitt training for Apollo 17 on the lunar rover. Apollo 17, which blasted off in December 1971, was to become the final mission of the Apollo lunar landing program, and was the last landing of humans on the Moon. NASA still uses the Hawaiian Islands to train astronauts due to its many similarities to the lunar surface.