Fifty years ago, the world watched as two Americans set foot on the lunar surface. It seems like an otherworldly feat, but the journey to the moon and back passed right through the Gulf Coast.

In eastern New Orleans, 4,000 workers helped assemble boosters that lifted the Saturn V rocket from Earth at the Michoud Assembly Facility. The engine traveled to Mississippi by barge to be test-fired at what is now NASA’s Stennis Space Center, before heading to Florida for launch.

These two facilities afforded the region a prominent place in the history of space travel – and it’s future.

– Eli A. Haddow, The Historic New Orleans Collection