Astronauts on the moon – summer 1969

Toronto. Nearly 54 years today, on July 21, 1969, our world changed forever. Exciting news – man first walked on the moon. This photo, of Buzz Aldrin was taken by Neil Armstrong with a 70mm ‘Lunar Surface Camera’.

Science students for decades were told the first step to the ‘stars’ was to have an engine strong enough to break free of earth’s gravitational pull. Post WW2,  rockets had the potential but it took over another decade to refine the rockets and engines and fuel to succeed.

In the late 1950s, we were electrified to hear the sounds from Sputnik – Russia’s and the world’s first man made satellite to circle the earth. A bit over a decade later an inspired USA managed to land on the moon. And here we are again on the eve of the second effort to land on earth’s natural satellite. Meantime, we have landed on Mars, shot giant telescopes to circle beyond our atmosphere, sent rockets and robots to the farthest reaches of our galaxy – and relied upon photography to remotely record images and findings and carefully send them back to earth line, by painfully slow line, all electronically.

From the beginnings of photography man has taken photos of the sky and its celestial bodies. And as noted above, in modern times, cameras have been placed on board rockets,  capturing images and sending them back to earth for viewing and scientific analysis.

Photography has come a long way from artistic portraits and landscapes for the wealthy and middle income folk to being indispensable for the scientific in all walks of life. I wonder if anyone thought of photography’s potential? Certainly a far cry from the idea of automatically creating printable images in books, magazines, etc.


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