NASA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 5 moon landing mission, and the agency is sharing stunning images and videos of the mission, which many people have never seen before.
New images presenting the 1971 moon mission in even greater detail have been shared to Fox News. All of the images have been retouched and remastered by Andy Saunders, author of the book "Apollo Remastered: the Ultimate Photographic Journey." The pictures mostly show the lunar rover which was driven by Commander David Scott, as well as the famous lunar module which Jim Irwin helmed.
Scott and Irwin were part of a small three-person crew, though they were the only two to set foot on the moon's surface. Astronaut Alfred Worden remained in orbit around the moon on the space shuttle Endeavour for the duration of the mission.
But perhaps the star of the celebration was the lunar roving vehicle (LRV). Built by the companies Boeing and General Motors, the LRV was first deployed during the Apollo 15 mission and enabled the astronauts to explore the moon's surface far longer, writes Astronomy.com.
Since the completion of Apollo 15, two more Apollo missions occurred, with Apollo 17 being the last one to land humans on Earth's only natural satellite. NASA hasn't sent any other moon landing crew since, though this is subject to change in 2024 with the Artemis mission.
NASA Apollo 15: One of the Greatest
To say that the Apollo 15 mission is one of NASA's greatest is a massive understatement. It's also among the ones which have been documented in extensive detail. The astronauts spent almost 19 hours on the moon's surface, conducting a total of four spacewalks and three trips using the LRV.
Among NASA's main goals for Apollo 15 was to prove that they had the capability to design and implement manned moon missions that can last for longer hours. According to the NASA website, there were four different objectives for the astronauts:
- Explore the Hadley-Appenine region where they landed.
- Conduct scientific experiments on the lunar surface.
- Evaluate the engineering of the Apollo equipment.
- Take photographs while also conducting more experiments in lunar orbit.
The mission went on to set several crewed space flight records for NASA at the time, including the heaviest payload in lunar orbit (107,000 pounds), and the longest amount of time spent on the moon's surface at almost 19 hours.
Around 170 pounds of material was collected by astronauts Scott and Irwin, much of it photographed in stunning detail, especially during a time when full-HD cameras weren't even widespread yet.
They captured all of the images and videos on specially designed cameras,both of which were cutting edge for the era. And one of those cameras was considered valuable enough to fetch over $1 million in an auction. The other one fetched for a whopping $600,000, from a starting bid of $50,000. Not bad for two cameras over four decades old at the time they were being auctioned off.
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Written by RJ Pierce