How Bill Anders took one of the most amazing photographs in human history. A beautiful little film by the Goddard Space Flight Center that seems like it was made especially for photographers.
Take seven minutes out of your day today to watch this—it's wonderful. There isn't a photographer who ever shot film who won't smile as the astronauts dig around for the right film and then wonder whether they for sure got the shot.
We'll be off tomorrow in honor of a certain U.S. sporting contest, but back on Monday. Enjoy the Super Bowl, if you're among those who will be watching. (Oddly enough, I like both teams and would be happy with a win by either one. So I'm hoping it will be close, and well played, and dramatic.)
(Thanks to Bill Mitchell)
ADDENDUM from Bill Mitchell: "Thanks to Jack Jones, my old NASA co-worker, who often emails me stuff of interest. This is the best he's ever sent."
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Rod S.: "That was great! Thank you, Mike and Bill. It might (or should) seem surprising that Bill Anders was able to so quickly load a roll of film into the Hasselblad. Actually, he didn't. The rolls were pre-loaded into magazines, and Anders only had to attach the magazine Lovell handed him onto the body.
"There was a long-running controversy as to who actually took the photographs, although Bill Anders always maintained it was he, in part complicated by the similarity of the voices on the flight recorder. The uncertainty led National Geographic, in its lengthy coverage of the flight (May 1969 issue) to attribute the shot to Frank Borman, as Commander of the flight.
"It was also nice to hear the voice of Andrew Chaikin, Apollo historian and author of A Man on the Moon (1994), which is usually cited as the definitive chronicle of the Apollo program. In his book, Chaikin explains that Borman turned the spacecraft so that Lovell, as navigator and stationed at the Command Module's sextent, could sight the landmarks he needed. Chaikin added: 'Perhaps it is true that our most electrifying experiences are the ones that take us by surprise. Even on the first flight to the moon, rehearsed in painstaking detail, an event that no one anticipated became the most moving of all. There's a comprehensive moment-by-moment description of the event, with the photographs, in the Apollo 8 Flight Journal.
"That little video spiced the start of my day nicely."