7 October 2015

Places I should be traveling to

NASA posted high resolution scans of all the Apollo photos, so obviously I had to browse through them. A few thoughts:

When you see the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module at high resolution, or in real life, it looks really crap. It’s like something welded together out of dented leftover sheet metal and wrapped in aluminium foil. Obviously part of the design problem was making it as lightweight as possible, but it’s hard to believe that something so flimsy looking landed on the moon and took off again. (Well, about half of it took off again, anyway.) I’d be scared to fly to Houston in that thing.

I wondered why the astronauts took 80 almost identical photos of a camera, until I realized that the photos were taken from the lunar rover, and showed totally different areas of the moon which all look almost exactly the same. Just featureless grey landscape with no way to judge distance or make out landmarks.

The photos get better with successive missions. Presumably NASA gave the astronauts more camera training, in the hope of getting better photos that would recapture the public’s interest and increase support for continuing with the program.

Imagine if the astronauts had had 4K video cameras and we could see moving pictures with the resolution of the Flickr uploads.

© mathew 2017