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We Took You To The Moon

When Apollo 11’s astronauts first set foot on the Moon, it marked one of humanity’s crowning achievements. But they didn’t go there alone. Kodak’s engineers designed cameras and film that proved critical for every stage of the mission. And thanks to their ingenuity, one small step for man became a giant leap for how we see the world.

Image courtesy of NASA and the George Eastman Museum.

 
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Shooting for the Moon

Kodak didn’t merely help NASA document Apollo 11. Our innovations kept the rocket safe, found the best place for a lunar landing, and housed a message from mankind on the Moon.

And it was all captured on Kodak film.

 
 

Summer of ’69: A Snapshot

These excerpts from the Kodakery, our vintage employee newsletter, were written in the summer of 1969, when the company was literally aiming for the Moon. They offer an intimate glimpse of just how exciting that was.

 
 

Say Cheese! 8 Tips on Moon Photography

We’re proud that we played such a central role in shooting the Moon from the surface. But you don’t have to travel 238,000 miles to get a beautiful lunar shot. Just follow these tips.

Moon photography tips >

 
 

The Future of Space Exploration
Photographer Alex Baker’s Behind the Scenes Look

These days the average smartphone far outstrips Apollo 11’s computers in processing power, and the likes of NASA and SpaceX are taking space travel in bold new directions. Photographer Alex Baker received behind the scenes access to NASA facilities for a look into this new age of spaceflight and shot images on KODAK Film.

 

 

Vertical Assembly Center

Engineers at Michoud Assembly Facility are using six state-of-the-art welding tools to build the Space Launch System core stage, including the world's largest spacecraft welding tool, the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC). At 170 feet tall, the VAC is the last stop in welding the primary structure, and is used to join domes, rings, and barrels to make a completed section of the core stage for NASA’s powerful heavy-lift rocket.

Apollo 11 Mission Patch with Saturn V

On July 20, 1987, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins signed a silk-screen patch flown aboard Apollo 11 and presented it to former NASA Administrator James C. Fletcher. The inscription of the patch reads: “Carried to the moon aboard Apollo XI, Presented to the Mars I Crew.” Looking forward to the future, it seemed only appropriate that a patch, which witnessed humankind’s first giant leap, should be there for its second.

Firing Room 1

"Firing Room 1” was the first of the firing rooms to support Apollo-era missions, with the launch of the uncrewed Saturn V (Apollo 4) on November 9, 1967. Later it went on to control the launches of Apollos 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, and 17. Firing Room 1 also supported the first launch of the space shuttle with Columbia’s maiden flight on April 12, 1981. It has since gone through a further redesign and was outfitted with new equipment and computers in 2011 to support future crewed lunar space initiatives.

Gemini/Apollo Era Steel Press

Michoud Assembly Facility is one of the largest manufacturing plants in the world with 43 environmentally controlled acres, 1,870,000 sq. ft, under one roof. From 1961 to the end of the Apollo program in 1972 the site was utilized by Chrysler Corporation to build the first stages of the Saturn I and Saturn IB, later joined by Boeing to build the Saturn V rockets. From September 1973 to 2010, the factory was used for the construction of the Space Shuttle's external fuel tanks. Many of these beautiful machines are still in use and contributing to the advancement of the space program.

Orion – Artemis 2

The Orion Crew Module, assembled by NASA and Lockheed Martin at MAF, is built around the pressure vessel that serves as the living and working area for Orion crews. The Artemis 2 Crew Module recently completed its proof pressure test in the Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center, following installation of additional hardware to fill out its primary structure which will protect astronauts during Artemis-era missions to the Moon.

Pegasus Barge

The Pegasus Barge had to be modified to be able to carry pieces of the Space Launch System (SLS) from Michoud Assembly in New Orleans to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. The SLS core stage is 50 feet longer than the space shuttle external tanks. A 115-foot section of the barge was removed and replaced with a 165-foot section designed to increase the cargo weight Pegasus can carry, lengthening it from 260 feet to 310 feet – longer than a football field. The SLS core stage will be the longest item ever shipped by a NASA barge.

Core Stage Pathfinder

To reduce the risk of first-time operations with one-of-a-kind spaceflight hardware for NASA’s Space Launch System, the agency built what is called a “Core Stage Pathfinder” that is similar in size, shape and weight to the actual 212-foot-tall core stage. The Pathfinder will be used in testing new shipping/handling equipment and procedures from the manufacture site to the test site to the launch site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Liquid Oxygen Tank

A Liquid Oxygen Tank test article for the Space Launch System completes final welding at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. At more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet, the core stage will store liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed four RS-25 engines. Confidence hardware verifies weld procedures are working and tooling-to-hardware interfaces are correct. The liquid oxygen tank is the smaller of the two tanks in the core stage.

Liquid Oxygen Tank Interior

The interior of the Liquid Oxygen Tank is not nearly as unassuming at the exterior. Lined and filled with decades of thoroughly tested technology that not only aids in structural integrity, but also helps to prevent movement of liquid during operation ("slosh").

Vehicle Assembly Building

One of the largest buildings in the world, the VAB (Vertical Assembly Building) covers 8 acres, is 525 feet tall and 518 feet wide. The VAB was constructed for the assembly of the Apollo/Saturn V moon rocket, the largest rocket made by humans at the time. The tallest portion of the VAB is called the high bay. There are four high bays and each has a 456-foot-high door, enabling rockets to be stacked vertically and then rolled out to the launch pad. Not coincidentally, these are the largest doors in the world as well. The Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft will be stacked in High Bay 3 prior to rollout to the launchpad before lifting off on Artemis 1.

Crawler Transporter

NASA’s Crawler Transporter-2 has a mass of 6,000,000 pounds requiring eight tracks, two on each corner. It is driven by 16 electric motors that are powered by two generators capable of moving the crawler at 2 miles per hour, although the speed with load does not exceed 1 mile per hour. Each track has 57 shoes, and each shoe weighs in at just shy of a ton. CT-2 will carry NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft atop the Mobile Launcher from the Vehicle Assembly Building to launch pad 39B before launch.

Crawler Transporter-2

Due to its age and the need to support the massive Space Launch System and mobile launcher, in mid-2012 one of NASA’s two Crawler Transporters underwent extensive upgrades including an increased lifting capacity from 12,000,000 to 18,000,000 pounds. Kennedy Space Center has been using the same two crawlers, now nicknamed "Hans" and "Franz", since 1965. Since then, they have traveled more than 3,400 miles, about the same distance from Miami to Seattle.

The Crawlerway from the VAB to Launch Complex 39B

The path for the Artemis deep space system from the Vehicle Assembly Building to launch pad 39-B is a slow one. Powering along at just over 1mph, it takes the system and mobile launcher nearly 5 hours to make the 4.2 mile journey. In their life, the crawlers have traveled more than 3,400 miles, about the same distance from Miami to Seattle.

Lunar Maria

The light areas of the Moon are known as the highlands. The dark features however, called Maria (Latin for seas), are impact basins that were filled with lava between 4.2 and 1.2 billion years ago. These light and dark areas represent rocks of different composition and ages, which provide evidence for how the early crust may have crystallized from a lunar magma ocean.


 

Let’s Shoot the Moon

Join us on a new lunar mission at a special edition of the Kodak Camera Club. Together with our co-hosts, RIT’s School of Physics and Astronomy, we’ll set out to capture photos of the Moon. And you’ll learn everything you need to make them breathtaking.


Event Details

 

Houston, We Have a Podcast

If you’re seeking further lunar exploration, listen to our exclusive Kodakery podcasts.

 

Former Kodak engineer Art Cosgrove shares his memories of designing the cameras for NASA’s Lunar Orbiter.

Listen to Art Cosgrove

Cole Rise talks space photography and his adventures in recreating replica film cameras that were taken into space.

Listen to Cole Rise

 

 
 
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Lunar Spectacular

Get an in-depth look at Kodak’s role in NASA’s Lunar Orbiter Program, which mapped 99% of the surface of the Moon to prepare for Apollo 11.

Read the Kodachrome Magazine article

 

Exclusive Moon Apparel

Celebrate 50 years of the Apollo moon landing with this exclusive Kodak apparel available on Amazon.

Kodak Moon T-shirt
Kodak Moon T-shirt
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Kodak Moon Long Sleeve T-Shirt
Kodak Moon Long Sleeve T-Shirt
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Kodak Moon Hoodie
Kodak Moon Hoodie
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Kodak Moon Sweatshirt
Kodak Moon Sweatshirt
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