More than 8,400 super high-resolution images from the Apollo missions have been released onto Flickr, a huge upload which allows the general public to see the historic photographs at an unprecedented quality. The images were captured by the astronauts using an array of high-end Hasselblad cameras – a “medium format” camera which used film three to four times as large as a standard 35mm frame, hence the wonderful amount of detail.
The upload is the result of a heroic effort by Kipp Teague of the Project Apollo Archive, a site working in tandem with Eric Jones’ Apollo Lunar Surface Journal (which comprehensivley details every Apollo lunar mission). Talking to The Planetray Society Teague explains it came about:
Around 2004, Johnson Space Center began re-scanning the original Apollo Hasseelblad camera film magazines, and Eric Jones and I began obtaining TIFF (uncompressed, high-resolution) versions of these new scans on DVD. These images were processed for inclusion on our websites, including adjusting color and brightness levels, and reducing the images in size to about 1000 dpi (dots per inch) for the high-resolution versions.
After much demand from the public Teague decided to reprocess the entire set and upload them to Flickr, untouched by editing and at a huge 1800 dpi resolution. While most the missions are up on Flickr, there are currently no images from Apollos 7, 8, 9, 10, or 13. According to Teague they wil be added soon.
As a little taster of what awaits you in the archive we’ve selected some highlights, focusing on just the Apollo 11 mission, and we’ve included a few zoomed-in crops to show the detail. From the criss-cross of boot prints in the lunar dust, to Neil Armstrong’s watery gaze after first landing, it is a remarkable record of a remarkable moment in human history. Being taken by employees of NASA all the original photos are in the public domain, as are these scans.