The Apollo 12 team secretly carried the naked pictures into space just four months after Apollo 11’s successful moon landing in July 1969. The pictures were strapped to the wrists of the spacesuits by reserve astronaut, Dave Scott. His prank was only discovered when astronauts Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad and Alan Bean reached the lunar surface.
Mr Bean told Playboy in a later interview: “It was about two and a half hours into the extravehicular activity, I flipped the page over and there she was.
“I hopped over to where Pete was and showed him mine, and he showed me his.
“We giggled and laughed so much that people accused us of being drunk or having space rapture.’”
Mr Scott has added the black and white pictures of the models if not the mission checklists of the astronauts.
The pictures of Angela Dorian and Reagan Wilson were accompanied by cheeky comments like “seen any interesting hills and valleys?”, “preferred tether partner” and “survey – her activity”.
Astronauts didn’t mention the pictures at the time because the public wouldn’t have wanted porn being discussed during the space event.
But NASA has kept the images in its historic archives titling them as “Playmate No 1” and “Playmate No 2”.
The third crew member, Dick Gordon, was also pranked by Mr Scott who hid a Playboy calendar in his locker.
The Apollo 12 mission was the second successful Moon landing for NASA.
The space shuttle launched was the sixth manned flight in the US’s Apollo program.
It was launched on November 14, 1969, from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
The mission was planned and executed as a precision landing.