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Author Topic:   Neil Armstrong photographed on the Moon
mconway
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posted 05-17-2002 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mconway   Click Here to Email mconway     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With the exception of a reflection in Buzz Aldrin's helmet visor, is there a clear still picture of Armstrong standing on the moon?

Cliff Lentz
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posted 05-17-2002 12:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For some reason there was only one camera on Apollo 11 (not counting the stereo camera for lunar sample closeups). The reflection picture, I believe is the only image of Armstrong from that camera. However there was a movie camera mounted on the LMP's window that recorded Armstrong walking around and later joined by Aldrin for the famous photo of the two raising the flag. I believe that I have seen every photo NASA has released for Apollo 11 and that's the only way I can see a photo of Armstrong existing.

Aztecdoug
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posted 05-17-2002 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I understand that there are three 70mm shots of Armstrong on the moon.
  1. The Visor Reflection

  2. Smiling inside the LM after the moonwalk

  3. An image of his backside leaning over the MESA. (The flag is on the far left and Armstrong is on the right side of the image.)

WAWalsh
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posted 05-17-2002 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aztecdoug:
An image of his backside leaning over the MESA.
That photo is AS11-40-5886. The Lunar Surface Journal has a discussion of the photo at mission time 110:31:47.

sch61
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posted 05-17-2002 12:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sch61   Click Here to Email sch61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A page devoted to the one clear photo of Neil Armstong on the lunar surface (i.e. AS11-40-5886) may be found at the Lunar Surface Journal website.

Cliff Lentz
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posted 05-17-2002 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had seen the photo they now say is Armstrong before labeled "Aldrin" and I want to believe that it is Armstrong even if it's more of a landscape (sorry moonscape) than it is a signature photo of the first man on the Moon. The question still remains in my mind... we go all the way to the Moon, costing millions of dollars, lost lives and a joint effort the likes of which was needed to win World War II and we only take one camera? Was it really just weight restraints?

WAWalsh
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posted 05-17-2002 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Most of the management autobiographies discuss the internal debate over whether or not to take a camera with the initial position opposing a camera to broadcast the first lunar EVA.

Anyway, I have not looked through the inventory, but I suspect that there were at least three cameras on Apollo 11. Both Armstrong and Aldrin had one attached to the front of their suits and then the camera that they deployed from the side of the LM to capture the first step onto the Moon. Given the dangers of the mission and weight constraints, one TV camera makes sense for the first mission. Indeed, given the limited time actually on the surface, the number of experiments to perform and the samples to collect, I doubt they had the time to set up three or four cameras to insure wider coverage.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-17-2002 07:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by WAWalsh:
Both Armstrong and Aldrin had one attached to the front of their suits and then the camera that they deployed from the side of the LM to capture the first step onto the Moon.

Neither Armstrong nor Aldrin had Hasselblads attached to their suits. There was only one Hasselblad 500EL Data Camera which was passed between the two -- leading to the lack of pictures of Neil.

derek
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posted 10-12-2002 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for derek   Click Here to Email derek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AS-11-40-5886 definitely shows Neil during EVA! How do I know? Because in 1990 I sent him a copy which he signed and returned. A friend met Buzz in 1988 and he confirmed he'd taken the photo.

Blackarrow
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posted 10-13-2002 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The picture of the astronaut leaning over the MESA is definitely Armstrong. As both Armstrong and Aldrin have positively confirmed this, it is a definitive identification.

I believe the second-from-top photo on the front cover of the Apollo 11 Preliminary Science Report shows part of Armstrong's PLSS, but it hardly counts as a "proper" photo.

WAWalsh
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posted 12-15-2003 07:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is also a second photograph that shows both Armstrong and Aldrin at the flag taken from the camera mounted on the LM.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-15-2003 07:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by WAWalsh:
There is also a second photograph that shows both Armstrong and Aldrin at the flag taken from the camera mounted on the LM.
If what are you referring to is like this one, then it is a frame grab from 16mm film (and there are a series of similar frames).

FFrench
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posted 12-15-2003 09:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This page provides a pretty good summary, and includes the best images.

WAWalsh
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posted 12-15-2003 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Robert, I stand corrected. I had not put together the thought that the photo was a frame taken from the 16mm film.

Blackarrow
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posted 12-15-2003 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In addition to the single "accidental" photo of Neil Armstrong standing beside, and in the shadow of, "Eagle", there is the first-class portrait shot taken by Buzz Aldrin inside "Eagle" after the EVA. I always thought you could learn anything you need to know about Armstrong's feelings about the landing and EVA from his weary but happy smile.

Fra Mauro
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posted 12-16-2003 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've heard that there are so few pictures of Armstrong because Aldrin did that intentionally. Just a rumor but an interesting one in light of Aldrin's wanting to go out first.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-16-2003 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That rumor is based on a lack of understanding of what actually transpired during the mission.

There was only one Hasselblad carried out onto the surface and every step -- including every posed photograph -- was trained for in advance. Aldrin only had the camera once, to capture panoramic photos of the landing site. The flight plan called for Armstrong to have the camera the remainder of the EVA.

Armstrong isn't the only astronaut to have few photographs of himself during his mission. Al Worden has only one photograph of him during his EVA. And have you ever seen a good photograph of Lovell in space? Armstrong has a great portrait of himself in the LM. Can Mike Collins say the same for the CM?

MrSpace86
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posted 12-16-2003 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I ever went into to space or anywhere historic, I would make sure there is a good picture taken of me, no matter what the timeline says or whatever I'm doing. It's all about history and future generations.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-16-2003 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
If I ever went into to space or anywhere historic, I would make sure there is a good picture taken of me, no matter what the timeline says or whatever I'm doing.
Which demonstrates the mindset the astronauts as a group possessed and why they were so well suited for the job. Remember, as easy as they made it look, Apollo was a test project that demanded pushing the limits of technology. If they hadn't been so focused on mission success, we might have seen a much different, far less celebrated series of moonwalks.

NASA had to balance the demands from its different divisions -- the engineers, the scientists, and the public affairs specialists -- in a way that would insure the best mission possible. In hindsight, it's easy to say that NASA should have placed more importance on the cultural impact of the landings -- and I join those who believe they should have -- but that didn't happen.

fabfivefreddy
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posted 12-16-2003 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fabfivefreddy   Click Here to Email fabfivefreddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope Armstrong's biography clears up any myths or rumors.

andrewcarson
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posted 12-16-2003 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcarson   Click Here to Email andrewcarson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neil Armstrong while in Dublin discussed this topic for some time when reference was made to the "lack" of photos of him on the Moon.

He indicated that Buzz only had the camera for a short time... the rest of the filming was done by Neil as the mission plan instructed. Neil made a comment about moving a distance away to photograph a crater he was interested in viewing and took photographs of that too...

Unless he says differently in his biography (which I doubt), then Robert is right in what he is saying.

Neil also stated that he was more excited about the landing than the EVA. He made a remark about good pilots being more excited and focused on a good landing than getting down and walking away from the aircraft.

He didn't mention Buzz Aldrin except for joking that Buzz was more photogenic than him... he didn't seem that bothered by the lack of photographs of him.

For anyone who hasn't seen this site with lots of Apollo images have a look.

FFrench
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posted 12-16-2003 12:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you look at the site I posted earlier in this thread, you'll see there are some outstanding DAC images of Armstrong on the surface, including a couple where his face is clearly visible.

Another little-known shot of Armstrong on the surface appears here.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-16-2003 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can see why it's little known -- here's the full frame.

FFrench
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posted 12-16-2003 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A clearer version of the full-frame shot can be found here.

Mike Dixon
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posted 12-16-2003 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Dixon   Click Here to Email Mike Dixon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
And have you ever seen a good photograph of Lovell in space?
In fact there is one very memorable shot taken aboard Apollo 13 showing Jim inside the LM wearing his snoopy cap and holding (what I believe is) a tape recorder. It was the leading full page color photo in TIME magazine's April '70 article following the return from flight. I have never seen it in any other publication.

spacecraft films
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posted 12-16-2003 10:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacecraft films   Click Here to Email spacecraft films     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In actuality the DAC camera footage of Armstrong stepping on the surface and working during the early part of the EVA is quite clear in a good transfer.

The focus was a little soft when he set the first foot on the moon, but was more crisp later on. In the next year I hope to be able to accomplish some data scanning of this film to create high definition stills from the DAC. My bet is certain frames, data scanned, will look spectacular.

We have a portion of it from our discs on the site. Obviously it is highly compressed for web streaming.

mensax
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posted 12-22-2003 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like to keep in mind that Neil Armstrong was one of the best photographers we had on the Moon. The photos he took were some of the best. I would hate to think of which ones we would not have today had he not had the camera when he did.

Moonwalker1954
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posted 11-02-2005 07:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonwalker1954   Click Here to Email Moonwalker1954     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by fabfivefreddy:
I hope Armstrong's biography clears up any myths or rumors.
This past weekend in Wapakoneta, author of "First Man" James Hanson, cited in the Wapakoneta Daily News, said that Buzz might have deliberately avoided to take some pictures of Neil on the Moon.

We all know that Buzz wanted badly to become the first human to step on the Moon. So, maybe that isn't far from the truth. Could it have been some kind of retaliation?

Personally, that's a thought that crossed my mind in the past. What are your feelings on that?

spacecraft films
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posted 11-02-2005 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacecraft films   Click Here to Email spacecraft films     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My own opinion, but I think it was just a matter of procedure and frankly taking tourist shots wasn't on the agenda. Buzz followed his photo protocol and took some interesting pictures of his tasks (such as the boot imprint, etc.). Neil had the camera most of the time, and was the better photographer in terms of spotting compositions and taking advantage of them. And there was only one camera on the surface during the EVA (not counting the "Gold" camera).

Buzz was on the surface about two hours, and I think it is much easier to understand how it just didn't happen than to believe that he consciously said to himself "I'm not going to take his picture." Imagine you're out on the surface with a checklist of things to do, first guys on the moon, in hindsight it seems incredible, but I can see how it can happen given the way the procedures were written and the excitement of the experience.

Astro Bill
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posted 11-06-2005 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In his review of First Man in today's New York Times Douglas Brinkley mentions this controversy, among many others. He states: "Regrettably, there are no color photographs of Armstrong walking on the moon: Aldrin did not snap a single one. But we do have 842 pounds of rock from the different space missions that still haven't been properly analyzed."

Earlier in the review, Brinkley mentioned that Aldrin "grew increasingly resentful" that Armstrong had been tapped as "first man" over Aldrin.

Scott
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posted 11-06-2005 09:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My own opinion is that it was not an accident.

ejectr
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posted 11-07-2005 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm with you, Scott. How could anyone have a camera on their chest, see the other guy traipsing all over the Moon and forget or be too busy to take a shot of that.

Armstrong seemed to have plenty of time in his schedule to take what are now well known images of the other guy.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-07-2005 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ejectr:
Armstrong seemed to have plenty of time in his schedule to take what are now well known images of the other guy.
Of course, it helped that most, if not all of the of the shots taken by Armstrong of Aldrin were not only rehearsed during training, but were called for in the flight plan.

Of the lack of photographs, Aldrin later said, "My fault, perhaps, but we had never simulated this in training."

ejectr
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posted 11-07-2005 09:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Right, next time you go on a trip somewhere special with somebody else and there are scads of photos of you, but none of your friend, you lay that excuse on them, right...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-07-2005 10:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the blame belongs with anyone, its the ground support team that trained both Aldrin and Armstrong.

This was the same team that didn't realize that two guys wearing the same identical outfits would need a way to be told apart. Clearly their attention wasn't on vacation snapshots or even personal glory - it was on getting key mission goals accomplished. Photographs were planned and then trained.

The lack of photographs on space missions isn't that rare of an occurrence. Jim Lovell flew twice as many missions as Neil Armstrong: can you show me two good photos of him during his four flights?

Neil and Buzz weren't on vacation but let's use the situation you pose: you arrive at a famous landmark and your friend takes a picture of you standing before it. What's the next thing your friend does? If he's anything like the people I have traveled with, he hands you the camera and says, "Now me" (or the like).

From the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal:

(Public Affairs Chief Brian) Duff was under great pressure to make a selection because the world's media were desperate for the material. Both 70 mm and motion picture were laid out on light tables in long strips. 'Everyone was yelling and finally somebody said shouldn't we try to get a picture of the first man on the Moon?' They started looking for the best shot of Armstrong. Soon they were looking for any shot of Armstrong. Finally George Low or Bob Gilruth suggested that Duff call Armstrong to ask him. Duff clearly remembers the conversation with Armstrong who was sleeping in the LRL. It went like this.

"Duff: 'Neil, this is Brian. When did you give the camera to Buzz?'"

"Armstrong: 'I never did.'"

"Duff: 'Thanks.'"

(The ALSJ continues, "It is possible to explain Armstrong's answer to Duff. He didn't give the camera to Aldrin. According to the flight plan he was required to place the camera on the MESA from which Aldrin would pick it up when he was ready. Armstrong simply responded very precisely to Duff's question.")

Armstrong appeared to be following the flight plan very closely, if he didn't once think to hand the camera to Buzz for a photo. And as the simplest answer is usually the right one: Why didn't Aldrin take a photo of Armstrong? Because it wasn't in the flight plan.

(One could then ask, why wasn't it in the flight plan? Because no one thought of it. No one thought of taking a picture of the first man on the Moon. Hundreds of people working on the mission and no one thought of it. And yet we have to prescribe ulterior motives to Aldrin for the explanation? I just don't see it...)

spaceuk
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posted 11-08-2005 07:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Astro Bill:
He states: "Regrettably, there are no color photographs of Armstrong walking on the moon: Aldrin did not snap a single one.
I sent the New York Times this link (raised earlier by this thread), which is a colour photo of Neil Armstrong on Moon taken by Buzz.

Moonwalker1954
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posted 11-08-2005 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonwalker1954   Click Here to Email Moonwalker1954     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, I understand very well the fact that hundreds of people working on the mission haven't thought of it. But only one really had to think about it...Buzz!

Scott
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posted 11-08-2005 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaceuk:
...which is a colour photo of Neil Armstrong on Moon taken by Buzz.
Which of course is part of a pan that Aldrin was taking, not a planned/intentional shot of Armstrong. Pesky Neil got in the way!

Frederic Janik
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posted 11-08-2005 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Frederic Janik   Click Here to Email Frederic Janik     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ejectr:
How could anyone have a camera on their chest, see the other guy traipsing all over the Moon and forget or be too busy to take a shot of that.
Wait... when you're on the Moon? And the first there? And you only have two hours and a largely filled program on things to do while there? Oh yes, and the whole world is watching you, by the way...

Has it ever occurred to you that maybe Buzz had other things to think about?

The comparison to being on holidays is badly chosen; Neil and Buzz were far from being tourists up there.

You might be right after all, but somehow I don't believe it and I think it's part of some problem (real, but limited problem) that has been grossly inflated by the press (always looking for a good story) over the years.

ejectr
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posted 11-08-2005 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Scott:
Pesky Neil got in the way!
Damn the nerve of him spoiling the scenery like that!

Good thing he had enough time to take a photo of his boot print in the soil, but I'm sure that was practiced and planned in the fight plan.


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