Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Cosmic Camera

Photography in space has a certain appeal. None of that dirty Earth atmosphere to get in the way of the light and you certainly won't get any interruptions from passing strangers. These days we take the photographs taken in space for granted but back in the early sixties the technology had to be developed to achieve photography in space.

This great little film documents how the Lunar Orbiter Camera started and advanced that process. The technology is remarkable. The orbiter features a 70mm dual lenses film camera, processing lab, analogue scanner and transmitter all in one. The film used was Bi-Mat which was similar to Polaroid.

The camera was designed to map the moon's surface to gain useful information for the moon mission that would follow some three years later. The camera did manage to photograph the Earth too - the first photograph to show the whole of the Earth floating in space.

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