Apollo 11 on the Sea of Tranquility – The High Res Photos

Posted filed underPhotography, Science.

In 1961, John F. Kennedy asked a lot of the U.S. space program when he declared: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” NASA hit that ambitious target with a few months to spare. On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 landed on the moon and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their famous first steps on the desolate lunar surface. The original video is grainy, hard to see. Check it out below.

First Moon Landing 1969

But the photos taken during the mission are anything but. And by now all photos have been uploaded in high resolution by NASA. Some great historical stuff to click through. The folks at SpaceRip stitched together a collection from the Apollo 11 mission, then set the slideshow to Chopin’s Trois nouvelles études, 2nd in A flat major.

Image of Buzz Aldrin above taken by one Neil Armstrong in outer space.

Apollo 11 – The missing tapes
The Apollo 11 missing tapes are missing slow-scan television (SSTV) recordings of the lunar transmissions broadcast during the Apollo 11 moonwalk. The SSTV data was recorded as a backup against any failure of the live television broadcasts.
The missing tapes which carried recordings of the SSTV signal as transmitted from the Moon, but before undergoing scan conversion, are believed to have been erased and reused by NASA, along with many thousands of other tapes. (NASA was faced with a shortage of quality data tapes in the early 1980s due to a change in the manufacturing process in the mid 1970s. This caused tapes that were no longer needed to be reused.) If the original SSTV format tapes were found, modern technology could be easily and cheaply used to make a higher-quality conversion, yielding better images than those originally seen. There are several still photographs, along with a few short segments of super 8 movie film taken of a video monitor in Australia, which show the SSTV transmission before it was converted.

In 2009 NASA gathered old copies of the converted video and paid to have them processed by Lowry Digital. These restorations were released in 2010.
(From Wikipedia)

Bonus: Cosmic Journeys – The Incredible Journey of Apollo 12

It’s the ultimate buddy movie. On November 19, 1969, astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean landed on the moon in one of the most important of the Apollo flights. This video shows them making a pinpoint landing on a treacherous lunar surface, finding rocks, and generally having a blast. The program features an interview with Pete Conrad, filmed a year before he died in a tragic motorcycle accident in 1999.

Watch more episodes of Cosmic Journeys on Youtube.