Lunar Orbiter In The News

Kodak has played big role in space program, Democrat and Chronicle
“Kodak designed and built the cameras and film processing used in the five lunar orbiters sent to photograph the moon’s surface in 1966 and 1967 in preparation for the manned landing. Those orbiters shot panoramic strips of the lunar surface and transmitted them back to Earth before the orbiters crashed into the moon, said Todd Gustavson, curator of technology at the George Eastman House.”
To the Moon – with extreme engineering – Spontaneous, improvised – would it be allowed to happen now?, The Register
“It’s a temptation, watching many of the 40th Anniversary retrospectives, to think of the Apollo space program as a triumph of power and industrial might. The superpowers’ space programs were, of course, political and chauvinistic, designed to showcase national wealth. But there’s a better way of looking at the program, Dennis Wingo reminded me recently. Masses of money helped put man on the Moon of course, but the Moon program is really a tale of engineering improvisation and human organisation. … The Lunar Orbiter astonishes even today. It had to take pictures, scan and develop the film on board, and broadcast it successfully back to earth. Naturally, the orbiter had to provide its own power, orient itself without intervention from ground control, and maintain precise temperature conditions and air pressure for the film processing, and protect itself from solar radiation and cosmic rays – all within severe size and weight constraints. This was far beyond the capabilities of the newest spy satellites, which back then returned the film to earth in a canister, retrieved by a specially kitted-out plane. The Orbiter challenge was the Apollo challenge in miniature.”

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