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Mankind up close and personal
March 8, 2009 1:18 PM   Subscribe

One Small Step (HQ footage)

I was surprised to see this as I didn’t even know it existed. It gives a different perspective on some of the most famous footage in history! You can see Buzz reflected in the lander window, and even hear Houston telling him how to set camera.

Via
posted by Substrata (30 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Pretty cool.
From what I understand, the b/w video we are all familiar with was actually shot in broadcast quality, possibly color. But, because of some glitch at the particular satellite station that was receiving the broadcast, all the world ever saw (and all that was recorded) was that fuzzy video we all know.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:45 PM on March 8, 2009


NASA personnel continue to sift through 37-year-old records in their attempt to locate the magnetic tapes that recorded the original Apollo 11 video in 1969.^ [WaPo]

Back in the pre-digital age of 1969, the cumbersome, highly specialized video format used by NASA appeared to have limited value. Apollo 11 was the only flight to use the unusual video system. The video signal was transmitted from the moon to ground sites in Australia and the Mojave Desert in California, where technicians reformatted the video for broadcast and transmitted it long-distance over analog lines to Houston. Much of the video quality was lost during that process.

The original video from the moon, however, was in an unconventional "slow-scan" format, necessary because almost all of the broadcast bandwidth was needed to send flight data to Earth. The format scanned only 30 percent of the normal frames per second, and it was done at a much lower than normal radio frequency.

Ironically, though the high-resolution tapes are missing, one of the few 7ft analog machines that could play the Apollo video was recently found at the Goddard Space Flight Center, where most Apollo data had been processed. -- Broadcast Engineering

posted by dhartung at 2:38 PM on March 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


Oh come on, what's the big deal here? A guy in a suit walking down a ladder and-- wait, you said this was where?

HOLY SHIT MAN WALKS ON FUCKING MOON
posted by gwint at 2:42 PM on March 8, 2009 [7 favorites]


Seriously, though: goosebumps.
posted by gwint at 2:44 PM on March 8, 2009


Ah, this was great. Made me seek out the documentary "In the Shadow of the Moon," which I understand actually uses this and other rarely-seen footage.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 3:22 PM on March 8, 2009


dhartung, thanks very much for the additional information.
posted by Substrata at 3:23 PM on March 8, 2009


From what I understand, the b/w video we are all familiar with was actually shot in broadcast quality, possibly color.

It (the video camera) was black and white, not color.

I have to plug Spacecraft Films, a small private company making all of this footage available to the general public. Their stuff is top-notch.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 3:53 PM on March 8, 2009


"An Ending (Ascent)" from For All Mankind
posted by vronsky at 4:12 PM on March 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm still amazed that they went to the moon in those flimsy little tin cans. Amazing that we've never been back too.
posted by octothorpe at 4:13 PM on March 8, 2009


Never play those guys at poker.
posted by popcassady at 4:50 PM on March 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


When's the next manned moon mission attempt?
posted by cashman at 5:49 PM on March 8, 2009


octothorpe: "I'm still amazed that they went to the moon in those flimsy little tin cans. Amazing that we've never been back too."

FYI (in case someone doesn't know), there were 6 manned moon landings.
posted by archagon at 5:55 PM on March 8, 2009


Sorry, I meant, never been back since the last moon landing. I'm old enough remember them, I forget that lots of people aren't.
posted by octothorpe at 6:15 PM on March 8, 2009


So I figured, but I thought I'd mention it anyway. I wasn't even aware of any other moon landings until just a few years ago!
posted by archagon at 6:17 PM on March 8, 2009


I'm always amazed that Neil Armstrong could flub one of the most important lines in all recorded history. How could he screw that up?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:05 PM on March 8, 2009


Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese: "I'm always amazed that Neil Armstrong could flub one of the most important lines in all recorded history. How could he screw that up?"

Give the guy a break. To stand there, alone in your suit, a million miles from home, with billions of people watching you, knowing that you're about to take a watershed step not just in American history, but in the history of the species?

If I were in his shoes, I'd've probably had a nervous breakdown.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:22 PM on March 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm still amazed that they went to the moon in those flimsy little tin cans.


This page has links to close-up photos of Neil Armstrong's Apollo14 suit. I remember reading about the special double zipper made airtight by a rubber gasket. I can't help to imagine being the seamstress on something like that, trying to be sure that that it won't be the failure point of a mission of such enormous scope.

Also, check out the photo of Neil Armstrong with an expression that says, "I just walked on the Fucking MOON".
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:52 PM on March 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I'm always amazed that Neil Armstrong could flub one of the most important lines in all recorded history. How could he screw that up?"

Because it was faked, duh.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:33 PM on March 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I always liked Buzz's followup line.

"That might have been a small step for Neil, but it's a big one for a little guy like me!"
posted by JBennett at 8:45 PM on March 8, 2009


My first job out of college was with NASA at Huntsville on the Apollo program. Wide-eyed young engineer. Goosebumps? yeah, every time I give those years even a passing thought...
posted by drhydro at 10:18 PM on March 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


From the transcript of day 2, I found this amusing (they're 114,922 nautical miles from earth, and casually singing and eating sausages!)
028:42:08 McCandless: Roger. Is that music I hear in the background?
028:42:15 Collins: Buzz is singing.
028:42:16 McCandless: Okay.
028:42:31 Collins: Pass me the sausage, man.
Also, I didn't realise they were quarantined on return in case of moon-based diseases; great picture of them here.
posted by JonB at 12:47 AM on March 9, 2009


OK, lets be honest. Who else was scared a monster would come out from the edge of the camera's field and eat him?
posted by Faux Real at 2:16 AM on March 9, 2009


Quite the sausage fest.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:25 AM on March 9, 2009


If I were in his shoes, I'd've probably had a nervous breakdown.

Yeah, I bet he peed in his suit.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:42 AM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]



028:42:08 McCandless: Roger. Is that music I hear in the background?
028:42:15 Collins: Buzz is singing.
028:42:16 McCandless: Okay.
028:42:31 Collins: Pass me the sausage, man.


Yeah, don't Bogart that "sausage" ...
posted by kcds at 6:48 AM on March 9, 2009


My favorite Robert Klein bit is where Armstrong steps off the lander and says, "COCA-COLA!" thereby setting himself up for life.
posted by steef at 6:59 AM on March 9, 2009


Most of the moon adventures were also shot on 16mm film at 8 frames per second. These had to be processed on earth. Unless you have a special projector, everything is comically sped up. Placing these cameras was apparently a low prioity, because they mostly show 10 minutes of a motionless shadow, a split second of a foot in the corner, 10 more minutes of a motionless shadow -- pretty avante garde stuff. The guys zooming around in the moon buggy is shot this way.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:51 AM on March 9, 2009


More transcript goodness:
023:14:23 McCandless: [...] Laredo, Texas, AP: Immigration officials in Nuevo Laredo announced Wednesday that hippies will be refused tourist cards to enter Mexico unless they take a bath and get haircuts. [...] London UPI: The House of Lords was assured Wednesday that a midget American submarine would not "damage or assault" the Loch Ness Monster. Lord Nomay said he wanted to be sure anyone operating a submarine in the loch "would not subject any creatures that might inhabit it to damage or assault." He asked that the submarine's plan to take a tissue sample with a retrievable dart from any monster it finds can be done without damage and disturbance. He was told it was impossible to say if the 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act would be violated unless and until the monster was found.
posted by archagon at 1:02 PM on March 9, 2009


Also, this is interesting:
027:17:09 Aldrin: Hey, Jim, I'm looking through the monocular now, and to coin an expression, the view is just out of this world.
Did he actually coin the expression "out of this world"?
posted by archagon at 1:09 PM on March 9, 2009


No, in that sense it means, "Here comes a quip!"
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:25 AM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


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