Session #5 – Apollo Imagery & its Place in Society

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
3:00 – 3:50 pm EST
Session 5Roger Launius, Division of Space History, National Air and Space Museum
Jennifer Levasseur, Division of Space History, National Air and Space Museum

What does the imagery from Apollo tell us? Most people, except for a handful of astronauts, experienced the journey to the Moon through movies and film. Images from the missions have permeated our culture. For example, a rendition of the astronaut saluting the flag was used as a logo for MTV for many years. This session assesses the power of the Apollo imagery in modern society. NASM Senior Curator Roger Launius will discuss the rise of six iconic images and how they have been used over time while Museum Specialist Jennifer Levasseur will explore the fascinating history of the cameras used to capture these images.

Enter Conference Session

Discuss this topic with others

Discuss this topic with others


  1. Robert Brand says:

    I have spent a long time working with photographs from the moon to look for stereo images that might have been taken by chance. I use these to show school kids what it was like to be on the moon with the astronauts. Using 3D projection there is a lot of content including the 3D close-ups of the lunar soil and rocks. Not quite the same as having a space suit to show the kids, but certainly an artifact that can be shared without destroying it or lowering its value. In fact, finding the 3D / stereo content is actually increasing the value of the images.

    Regards, Robert Brand

  2. Michael C. says:

    This sounds like it will be a fascinating conference session. Will the panelists discuss the pros and cons of the film photography of Project Apollo versus the digital photography of Space Shuttle and International Space Station? Thank you.

  3. Glenn Showalter says:

    I regret as much as i did in the 60′s all those Hasselblad 120 cameras being left on the Moon just to bring back a few more Moon rocks that are so plentyful today they are loaned out for tours and science presentations. It may have been i think a micro problem on expendability that eventually lead to not realizing ‘there is a better way’ attitude beats the “culture” that caused the Apollo fire and eventually the “cultural attitude” that lead to the more recent desaster. You don’t leave two or three dozen of the worlds most expensive cameras on the Moon as trash. That type of attitude carries over to more serious expendability of some of our finest Americans. The Apollo 13 was our best example of having to accept risk of an inevitable problem sooner or later and this one was non preventable. The loss of life tragedies were all preventable.