In the 1960s and '70s, a group of 19 astronauts selected by NASA were sent to the Big Island for a geology training course.
The Big Island’s volcanic terrain was similar to the surface of the moon, making it a perfect training ground for Apollo crews.
Geologic map of Hawaii island for astronaut training.
Pacific Space Center executive director Rob Kelso discovered these photos documenting Hawaii's role in getting man on the moon.
Apollo 13 commander James A. Lovell, Jr. using a scoop from the Apollo lunar hand tools in Kapoho.
Apollo 15 crew during geological training in Apollo Valley, Big Island.
Apollo 17 crew members Joe Engle and Eugene Cernan using a scoop to collect soil samples.
Apollo 15 commander Dave Scott and lunar module pilot Jim Irwin.
Apollo 15 commander Dave Scott.
Apollo 15 geological training.
Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa with the modularized equipment transporter(MET), fondly known as the "rickshaw."
Apollo 17 astronauts training with the lunar roving vehicle, popularly known as the "Moon Buggy."