THE APOLLO ARCHIVE

The stunning archive of the Apollo images is now on Flickr. Raw, unprocessed and at full resolution - 16MP versions! The highest resolution Apollo photos of the prime film! 

Where is the "download the entire collection" button? *gasp*

When going through the archive, note that all Apollo photos of the moon’s surface were actually color photographs. It is the moon that is monochrome, not their film. 

This has to be my most favorite Apollo photo because it looks so delicate and in total contrast with the other Apollo photos that seem to be celebrating scientific and technological achievements.

Charlie Duke walking on the Moon

Charlie Duke walking on the Moon

During the final Apollo 16 EVA on April 23, 1972, astronaut Charlie Duke placed a photograph of his family on the lunar surface, and photographed it with his Hasselblad camera. The photo Duke had carried with him was isolated from the Lunar environment with plastic, just like everything else. Because of NASA's planetary protection policy - aka safeguarding all solar system bodies from contamination by Earth life - every item carried by the Astronauts needed extensive decontamination and nothing could directly touch the surface, or be exposed to raw atmosphere.

Each time I look at this photo, I'm imagining Duke, covered up on this engineering marvel that is a space-suit, first looking up and seeing the earth 250,000 miles away and then looking down and seeing his family there, on the Lunar surface covered in plastic.I'd like to know how it made him feel. Closer, or further away from those he loved back on Earth? Is this the price to pay for future Mars explorers? To carry with you the memories of what you'll miss, sealed in plastic?

Oh, the fragility and vulnerability of human life in contrast to the hubris, genius, and accomplishment of considering that vulnerability while dressed in a spacesuit and stomping around on the motherfucking moon.