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Apollo Image Products., Various mosaics, composites and other imagery.
dvandorn
post Jul 21 2008, 01:47 PM
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In terms of being media-savvy, the NASA of the 1960s and early 70s was less concerned about the media than they are today, but then again, that was a time in which anything involved with the space program was news. Launches of *unmanned* probes rated live coverage. NASA didn't have to put forth any special effort to make its activities interesting or newsworthy, that just wasn't part of the equation.

Back then, NASA's problems with the media had more to do with keeping the media out of its hair as it ran the missions than it did trying to get the media to cover them in the first place.

Most of the things that the Apollo EVA crews did on the lunar surface that could be described as "PR" types of events were, indeed, done on the personal initiative of the individual crewmen. For instance, on Apollo 11, Armstrong's checklist merely instructed him to remove the foil cover from the commemorative plaque on the front landing gear. It was Armstrong's own idea, as appropriate for the moment, to describe the plaque and read the words etched into it. But, of course, later on in that same EVA, the White House media machine arranged to have Dick Nixon share the screen with Armstrong and Aldrin, which was pretty much the most blatant PR moment I can recall from the moonflights.

Gene Cernan created the most transparently PR-styled moment of the final landings with his "dedication" of a lunar sample to all the people of the Earth, but as you say, there were little things, like the golf shot and the hammer/feather drop, that were slightly more spontaneous and obviously the work of the individuals who did them. Some other things were planned and never accomplished, though -- for example, the Apollo 16 crew of Young and Duke had planned to do a "Lunar Olympics" demonstration of just how high and far one could leap and jump in 1/6 G, but their late landing and truncated third EVA resulted in the cancelation of that little demonstration.

As for outreach... NASA was always good at reactive outreach, providing ten pounds of information for every one pound requested by the media or just by the general public. Only in this more jaded world of been-there, done-that has NASA felt the need to put effort into a lot of proactive outreach. Overall, they're good at that, too, but there is always room for improvement.

-the other Doug


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“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” -Mark Twain
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centsworth_II
post Jul 21 2008, 01:52 PM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Jul 21 2008, 08:34 AM) *
Not criticizing NASA...

I remember spending hours in front of the TV watching live video from the moon. Talk about the immediate release of image products!
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dvandorn
post Jul 21 2008, 01:56 PM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Jul 21 2008, 08:47 AM) *
Wow... glad you flagged that up... found this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfBn6Vl-B2A

ohmy.gif smile.gif

Also, if you look closely on the Apollo 11 television record, you can see that when Armstrong begins to read the plaque, Aldrin in the background has his visor half-up, and as he moves into the sun and reaches to pull the visor down completely, his face profile is visible within the helmet. I'm also convinced he had his visor up earlier when he was working at the MESA, where a few smudgy images look to me as if we're looking right into Aldrin's helmet and at his face.

-the other Doug


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“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” -Mark Twain
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DDAVIS
post Jul 21 2008, 02:07 PM
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So, between the film and video record, there are images of at least six of the twelve moonwalkers with their gold visors up and their faces visible.


Indeed, however the last mission seemed to feature the only deliberate effort to do this live for the benefit of viewers (against the advice of mission control). EDIT: Nope, it was not quite deliberate, just did some more research. Even though he seemed to make a point of lingering in front of the camera like that for a time, it was due to a presumably dust scratched visor. It was, however, still cool to see someone speaking some of the many words broadcast from the Lunar surface.
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tedstryk
post Jul 21 2008, 02:41 PM
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My computer doesn't like Apollo and Lunar Orbiter images. biggrin.gif


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dvandorn
post Jul 21 2008, 03:05 PM
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QUOTE (DDAVIS @ Jul 21 2008, 09:07 AM) *
...the last mission seemed to feature the only deliberate effort to do this live for the benefit of viewers (against the advice of mission control).

Schmitt kept his visor up (or, more of the time, half-up) because it had acquired some scratches early on, and Schmitt wanted to see the surface -- and the rocks -- as clearly as possible. For the most part, Schmitt seemed oblivious that the camera was even watching him, much less consciously aware of whether people could or could not see his face, I think.

He was cautioned several times by the ground to lower his visor, and at first he simply complained that the visor was scratched and hard to see through. Later on, he got sort of aggravated, and said something along the lines of "I think you can trust us to take care of ourselves, I'll wear the visor as I please, so shut up about it."

smile.gif

-the other Doug


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“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” -Mark Twain
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ilbasso
post Jul 22 2008, 02:22 AM
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Courtesy of the Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal - here's an enhanced picture of one of the shots of Buzz at the flag. You can clearly see his face even through the gold visor. He has turned his head to the left to look at Armstrong but his helmet remains facing forward.


Once you've seen the enhanced version, it's easy to see Buzz in the 'normal' version.


You know, try as I might, I couldn't find any references on NASA's homepage yesterday to recognize the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing. It's incredible that even NASA couldn't be bothered to commemorate perhaps its crowning achievement.


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nprev
post Jul 22 2008, 03:30 AM
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QUOTE (ilbasso @ Jul 21 2008, 06:22 PM) *
It's incredible that even NASA couldn't be bothered to commemorate perhaps its crowning achievement.


Wow. I never even thought to check, but thanks for doing so. What a depressing (though completely accurate) observation.

I'm sure hoping that Apollo doesn't degenerate into an urban legend by the time I'm an old(er) man.


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dvandorn
post Jul 22 2008, 05:11 AM
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Well, NASA TV ran their longer Apollo 11 documentary Sunday at noon, CDT, and of course the Apollo 11 anniversary was mentioned during their "This Week @ NASA" segment in which they point out anniversaries. But that's all I saw.

I was rather disappointed that they couldn't manage to run some time-synched tapes of the landing between 3 and 3:30 pm CDT yesterday. I ended up sync'ing (to within five seconds or so, anyway) an mp3 I have of the landing and listening on my computer. I was able to listen as they landed right around 3:17:44 pm.

Shame I had to set that up for myself. I mean, NASA has its own freakin' TV network, you'd think they could have just racked up some tapes and played them, eh?

-the other Doug


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dvandorn
post Jul 22 2008, 05:47 AM
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I just watched a decent mpg clip of the TV broadcast from during and just after the reading of the plaque during Apollo 11's EVA. And I must correct myself slightly. Aldrin started out that scene with his visor down, and pulled his visor up about halfway through Armstrong's reading. He then came over to the MESA, leaving his visor up, and at various times you could glimpse his head moving in his helmet. However, at one point he holds his gloved hand up to the TV camera, asking if Houston can see the dirt already on the glove. The lighting at that moment is such that you can see Buzz's eyes and forehead quite clearly (his upraised arm covered his mouth), and as he is asking if Houston has his hand in focus, you can see him blink his eyes. It's really, really cool -- and to tell the truth, I *think* I remember noting that when I saw the TV transmission the first time.

-the other Doug


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Stu
post Jul 22 2008, 07:27 AM
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I'd like to take a moment here to thank everyone who's contributed to this discussion, it's been truly enlightening, and a great illustration of the expertise and knowledge of UMSF members. I have to admit I started off with a whole bunch of assumptions and preconceptions here, and a lot of them have just been blown away, and a lot of gaps - that I didn't even know were gaps - in my own knowledge of the Apollo missions have now been filled in.

Dvandorn, your knowledge of the Apollo missions is remarkable, thanks for your info! And ilbasso, those Buzz Aldrin pics you posted literally shook me. How many times have I looked at that very picture and never seen Aldrin's face? Hundreds? Thousands? Jeez, I actually show that pic in some of my talks, and I swear I have never noticed the face inside the helmet before. blink.gif That's actually a little disturbing, to be honest, to have missed something so amazing, so many times... but you're right, once you've seen the crop of just the visor, and look at the full size image, yep, there he is, looking right at the camera. I feel a bit of an idiot actually. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else out there had never noticed Aldrin's face in that image before (not just so I don't feel an idiot on my own, I'm just curious!)

Anyway, thanks guys. This mini discussion has breathed new life into Apollo for me. smile.gif


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dvandorn
post Jul 22 2008, 07:39 AM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Jul 22 2008, 02:27 AM) *
I'd be interested to hear if anyone else out there had never noticed Aldrin's face in that image before (not just so I don't feel an idiot on my own, I'm just curious!)

That is a somewhat enhanced version of that pic, Aldrin's face is a little more subdued in the original release of that image, so it's not surprising most people miss it.

I had never really seen the face in the visor until someone posted that enhanced image in the ALSJ, after which, of course, you can't help but see it. So, I'm with you, Stu -- I had indeed seen that image thousands of times and not picked out the face. Of course, we can be a little forgiven, since Aldrin is facing the LM and the image of his face looks a lot like it could be a reflection of the gold-orange kapton foil covering the LM's descent stage. It's only when you realize that the face sits on the *near* side of the reflection of the Sun, and the LM would be seen in reflection on Buzz' visor on the *far* side of the Sun's reflection, that you become certain it can't be the LM, and thereby *any* reflection on the outside of the visor.

Oh, and thanks! As y'all might notice, this is a topic I never tire of discussing... rolleyes.gif

-the other Doug


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ugordan
post Jul 22 2008, 12:32 PM
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Here's a goofy attempt at a crossed-eye stereo image of the Apollo 11 LEM made from two Armstrong's photos from distance:



Only the ascent stage is matched well and gives a reasonable 3d feel, the descent stage (especially the legs) are distorted, not to mention the surface features. Don't look at it for too long if you don't want headaches.


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Stu
post Jul 22 2008, 12:43 PM
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I've always liked this one... not brilliant but kinda 3D smile.gif


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TheChemist
post Jul 22 2008, 01:46 PM
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That's why I love this forum !
You ask for a picture, and you get a full discussion with lots of images, accurate documentation and expert commentary. smile.gif

A big thank you guys !
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