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Space Age Archaeology

Apollo 8: the shadow diaries

19 Nov 2017, 01:45 UTC
Apollo 8: the shadow diaries
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Mapping the shadowsShadows on the Moon have many scientific implications, from temperature to the electrostatic properties of lunar dust. I'm more interested in the cultural and social aspects of these shadows, however, while noting that the lines are often blurred between these distinctions.I've considered shadows as part of the fabric of the Apollo landing sites. In another post I looked at Apollo mission photographs in which the photographer is present only as a shadow. Here, I'm thinking about shadows cast by 'natural' features; light, perspective, and movement. This is a series of images taken by the Apollo 8 mission in 1968. (All these images are from the NASA archives). Apollo 8 was the first US human spaceflight mission to orbit the Moon. People usually remember this mission for the famous snap of Earthrise, claimed to be one of the most influential images of all time.Over 20 hours, the Apollo 8 spacecraft with its three crew orbited the Moon 10 times. The aim was to map the lunar surface, supplementing data from the Lunar Orbiter in 1964. This wasn't all, though. The crew were scoping out possible future landing sites, and shadows were a factor. A little way into their sixth ...

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