Live From the Moon!
The picture may have been grainy, but it was some of the most riveting TV of the 1960s.
- By Mary McKillop
- AirSpaceMag.com, July 19, 2010
Apollo was a massive national effort involving hundreds of thousands of people, but only twelve walked on the moon. The rest of us watched on television.
It wouldn't have happened without the dedication of engineers from RCA and Westinghouse, along with support from key NASA managers, who sometimes had to overcome the objections of engineers and astronauts worried that TV broadcasts would distract from the mission.
Designing a television camera to work on the lunar surface was a challenge. It needed to be lightweight and compact, and had to operate in extreme temperatures and low light levels. With only minor exceptions, the cameras worked as advertised, returning some of the most memorable scenes ever recorded.
The history of the Apollo TV camera broadcasts is recounted in Dwight Steven-Boniecki’s comprehensive new book, Live TV From the Moon, just published by Apogee Books. See the gallery at right for more photos from the book. (Pictured: John Young and Gene Cernan at the end of their Apollo 17 lunar expedition)