[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The photographs of Neil Armstrong taking his ‘small step for man’ from Apollo 11 are instantly recognisable and some of the most famous in the world.
But there are equally stunning images from Nasa’s Apollo missions that are not so familiar and are so perfect, they look like stills from a sci-fi film.
More than 8,400 photographs from Nasa’s moon missions have been uploaded to Flickr in high resolution, and offer a fresh look at the lunar landings – including Buzz Aldrin’s less than graceful descent onto the moon’s surface.
The first manned mission to the moon was Apollo 8, which circled around the moon on Christmas Eve in 1968, but it was the moment Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969, that was Nasa’s crowning achievement of the 1960s.
Photographs presumably taken by Armstrong show Aldrin exiting from the Apollo Lunar Module and they capture the difficulty of climbing out from a small opening and descending a ladder in zero gravity.
More familiar images from various missions show famous footprints and magical views of Earth, while others offer a more surprising glimpse of the lunar landscape, with astronauts collecting samples from boulders larger than themselves and travelling across the satellite’s bleak hilly terrain.
Over the course of the Apollo missions, 12 astronauts walked on the moon and as well as conducting experiments, took some incredible photographs using specially-adapted Hasselblad cameras.
The originals are preserved and enthusiasts have made digital copies in high resolution of 1,800dpi, to allow us to see lunar details as never before.
Kipp Teague, who runs the Apollo Archive told The Planetary Society that the process to archive every photo taken of the moon taken by astronauts using their chest-mounted Hasselblad cameras, and extra taken from Earth and lunar orbit as part of the missions, has been a long one.
‘Around 2004, Johnson Space Center began re-scanning the original Apollo Hasselblad camera film magazines, and Eric Jones and I began obtaining TIFF (uncompressed, high-resolution) versions of these new scans on DVD,’ he said.
‘These images were processed for inclusion on our websites, including adjusting color and brightness levels, and reducing the images in size to about 1000 dpi (dots per inch) for the high-resolution versions.’
It’s now possible to see iconic footprints, craters, flags, lander and the astronauts themselves in the sharpest of detail.
Medium format Hasselblads were used to capture impressive detail in the first place, because the film they use is three is four times as large as a standard 35mm frame, The Verge reported.
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