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Out of this world: The best selfies from space

He may be best known for joining Neil Armstrong on the historic Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, but that wasn't the only time Buzz Aldrin had a hand in history. Three years before the moon landing, while on the Gemini 12 mission in 1966, he unknowingly made history when he <a href='https://twitter.com/TheRealBuzz/status/490293546851635201' target='_blank'>snapped the "first space selfie." </a> He may be best known for joining Neil Armstrong on the historic Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, but that wasn't the only time Buzz Aldrin had a hand in history. Three years before the moon landing, while on the Gemini 12 mission in 1966, he unknowingly made history when he snapped the "first space selfie."
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"World's first space selfie"
Breathtaking brilliance
Celebrating a year on the Red Planet
Wall-E? Nope, just Curiosity
See ya later space station!
A selfie for the final space shuttle mission
Mars flyby
Building the International Space Station
Rocking out on Venus
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Buzz Aldrin posted what he calls "the world's first space selfie," taken in 1966
  • It was captured while he was shooting pics of ultraviolet stars while on the Gemini 12 mission
  • "I didn't realize I was pioneering the selfies," Aldrin told CNN
  • Today it's a fairly popular past-time for astronauts to send selfies home from space

The Art of Movement is a monthly show that highlights the most significant innovations in science and technology that are helping shape our modern world.

(CNN) -- "Gee whiz! Look at that horizon. It's curved a little bit and the clouds are way down there. I wonder what the picture's going to look like?" recalls famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

He's perhaps best known for becoming the second person to walk on the moon, as part of the 1969 Apollo moon landing, but Aldrin unknowingly made history when in 1966, he snapped the "first space selfie." Taken while on the 10th and final Gemini mission -- Gemini 12 -- Aldrin revealed the story behind the selfie to CNN.

WATCH: Buzz Aldrin's space selfie

"I didn't realize I was pioneering the selfies," he says with his usual wide-eyed enthusiasm.

"We were docked to the other spacecraft, Agena. There was an experimenter from Northwestern University and he wanted pictures taken of ultraviolet stars. So we could only take pictures at night."

Buzz Aldrin and the first space selfie

He adds: "During the day pass, I'm looking down at the Astrodome, some of the lakes around Houston, so what am I going to do during the daytime? Look at the camera and hit the button."

And that was that. Aldrin had just snapped what he claims is the "first selfie in space."

Today it's the norm and NASA has gotten incredibly good at sharing the best shots with the world on social media.

But it's not just astronauts. Scientists and engineers are getting in on the action, too, by having the robots and orbiters out and about the galaxy take happy snaps of their alien surroundings. Scroll through the gallery above to see more.

Meanwhile, almost 50 years on, Aldrin reflects on his other "first" and concedes he took the pioneering pic out of boredom.

"What for? I don't know. I wondered what I looked like. Another claim to fame for Buzz," he says leaning forward with a cheeky grin on his face.



READ: Do we need to go back to the moon?

READ: 'Next stop -- Mars!" says Aldrin

READ: Solar flares: Cosmic fireworks or more dangerous?

SEE: The cosmos in pictures

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