Paintings… And space operations…
Artists were usually aboard the ships that performed the water recoveries of the US space capsules, which landed in the water, as opposed to the Russian ones which land on the ground.
A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Class of 1944, Alan Shepard became a pilot and served as a test pilot at Patuxent Naval Air Station, later becoming an instructor. In 1959, he was one of the first seven astronauts selected for Project Mercury. In May 1961, he became the first American in space – the second human after Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin achieved that feat a month earlier. He returned to space in Apollo 14 and in that mission became the fifth person to walk on the moon and first to hit a golf ball on the moon.
ASW helicopters usually got tapped to be the primary rescue ‘vehicle’ along with their crews. Helicopter 58 was a Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King, was one of those used for Gemini 5’s recovery aboard the USS Lake Champlain in 1965.
Wearing biological isolation garments, the crew of Apollo 11 is escorted directly from the helicopter that was lowered to the hangar deck then pulled in next to the Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) to ensure that they did not bring back any contaminants back from the moon. The Airstream trailer would be their home for the next 65 hours while it was transferred from USS Hornet to Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Quite a few of these are displayed in the Navy Museum in Pensacola, others are in Houston and other NASA locations.