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June 15, 2019 10:40 AM   Subscribe

Apollo 11 in real-time.
"This website replays the Apollo 11 mission as it happened, 50 years ago. It consists entirely of historical material.
Select whether to begin one minute before launch, or click "Now" to drop in exactly 50 years ago, to-the-second during the anniversary."
posted by thatwhichfalls (18 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
This is a wonderful documentary. It makes me feel like a small child filled with wonder at all the amazing things that led us to landing on the moon.

That being said, it's worth noting how absolutely white and male NASA is in this footage. You see the control room and it's just wall to wall men and all of them white. It just stood out to me and felt worth acknowledging. I'm glad there's more diversity in the space program today, but looking back, you cannot help but notice these things.

It's a documentary worth your time. Thanks for posting about this thatwhichfalls.
posted by Fizz at 10:46 AM on June 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

Hats off to the designers!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:04 AM on June 15, 2019

I'm a bit confused as to why this is not running next month, as it seems like the "Now" is a month early.
Whatever the case, this is amazingly cool.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:05 AM on June 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

they ain't just white! they are dressed all the same 1960's nerd. Talk about about monoculture.

That said, i am going to leave this runing as my background noise for a wile. Thanks.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 11:06 AM on June 15, 2019

What a cool idea! All slow TV things are good, and historic slow TV seems like an underexplored arena.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:19 AM on June 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I kind of wonder if the newer moon mission will be less exciting, not just because we've been there before, but because we'll have better technology. High resolution video streams and better automation leave less to the imagination and less suspense. Piecing together the story from radio chatter and a mix of photo stills and low res analog TV signals is really exciting.
posted by ikea_femme at 11:24 AM on June 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I just went to the Mission Milestones tab for the "Now" mode, and in rather little time, it jumps from "Armstrong offers Collins some gum" to "Neil can see most of the world."
posted by zachlipton at 11:28 AM on June 15, 2019

This is awesome, even if whoever configured it appears to still be holding out on the Gregorian Reform
posted by phooky at 11:35 AM on June 15, 2019 [10 favorites]

Gah, I remember something like this from the 40th anniversary! I've completely lost track of time!
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 11:46 AM on June 15, 2019

Fascinating design. And very powerful to see/hear, all over again.

(Also not sure why "Now" means July, unless I slept a bit strangely)
posted by doctornemo at 12:01 PM on June 15, 2019

Is there a way to tell who's speaking when using the mission control audio view? I like the idea of switching between the different desks, but without a transcript or other aide to keep track, it's a bit confusing.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:05 PM on June 15, 2019

I'm listening to three men in a tiny boat on a vast sea navigating by sextant to an unexplored world.
posted by pracowity at 12:07 PM on June 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I remember watching the landing live on TV in the UK.
posted by kenchie at 2:26 PM on June 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

The way I figure it, the Apollo 11 launch was on July 16, so that's the day the 50th anniversary commemoration actually begins. If you click "now" before that date, you will be taken to the correct current time, but until July 17, you'll be taken to that time on July 16, 1969.
posted by Miss Cellania at 3:22 PM on June 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

kenchie: me too.

Is this the right place to mention the amazing album The Race for Space by Public Service Broadcasting, which is basically all about what-the-title-says, using archival recordings from NASA?
posted by cstross at 4:04 PM on June 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

This is pretty cool and I will definitely be taking a deep dive into it when I can get some time set aside. But, it’ll have to be on my desktop, ‘cause the site is pretty tablet unfriendly.

And, yeah, it’s really odd that it’s already playing the mission, when it shouldn’t be running for another month.

I was vacationing with my parents up in northern Indiana when the mission happened. Luckily, the cabin had a tv. I stayed up all night watching the event. It was the perfect time to be an 11 year old space geek.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:00 PM on June 15, 2019

Ben Feist, the creator of the website, is over on Hacker News and is answering questions.
"Have you considered trying to contact the Smithsonian to see if they'd be interested in using it? I've never seen a more impressive interactive exhibit."

"I have. They're not interested."
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:49 AM on June 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Speaking of race in NASA, today a fact-checking website published a claim about racial breakdown in that agency today. Citing one NASA page, they offer the following:
Seventy two percent of NASA employees are White or Caucasian, 12% are Black or African American, 7% are Asian American or Pacific Islander, 8% are Hispanic or Latino; 1% are American Indian or Alaska Native, and less than 1% are more than one race.
Graphic here.
posted by doctornemo at 1:05 PM on June 16, 2019

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