Friday, 7 December 2012

Remember This Image?

BoingBoing's David Pescovitz reminds me that it was forty years ago today that this photograph was taken by Apollo 17's crew, on the last manned mission to the moon,

Five hours and six minutes travel time from Cape Canaveral, 28,000 miles from home.  The camera was a seventy millimetre Hasselblad, with an 80 mm lens.


  1. Wow! Forty years ago...that's scary! I wish I could say I wasn't around then...but I was, so I can't!

    1. Lee: I remember Sputnik 1!
      I had a little red sputnik toy, I think it came with so many box-tops from weetabix.
      You wound the handle, (long before all toys had batteries), and the sputnik rotated around your head on its bendy wire stem.
      Ah, simpler times, simpler times. I remember parading proudly up our little road with my up-to-the-minute toy, the envy, I'm sure, of all the other kids!

  2. Five hours and six minutes ??? ONLY ???? Ummm .... calculating our 14 hours to Georgia and 14 hours back .... we could have flown to the moon and back ......FIVE TIMES !!! (only we'd be stuck in mid-space between the moon and earth on the last return, which just means we'd have time to re-boot the intergalactic GPS and take a detour to .... the dog star perhaps ??)

    Next time we do the "family" trip, we're taking a rocket!


    1. They were still on the way, and no doubt the kids in the back seats were squabbling and moaning "Are we nearly there yet!", and "I need to pee!" .

      The mission commander would be yeling "You kids, stop fighting! Did we pass the turn-off? Is this Alabama? Oh my god, I think I hear banjos!"

      Take-off was at 33 minutes after midnight, just into december 7th. They arrived in lunar orbit at 2:47 in the afternoon, December the tenth. Touch-down on the moon was 2:55 p.m. on december 11th.

      So 14 hours to Georgia's not too bad. Have you thought how long you'd be standing at the gas-station pumps, and what it would cost to fill the tanks on a Saturn 5?

    2. okay NOW you have confused me ..... what's the five hours and six minutes travel time from Cape Canaveral referencing ??? Hmmm ..... I'd let you worry about the cost of fuel. I just want to know if the bathrooms are clean and can I purchase a coca-cola with ice ???

    3. Well, of course, the time elapsed from locking the front door at Canaveral, to the point -in the journey- where a crew member stuck the camera out of the back window, to take this pic of altogether the wrong side, for americans, of a rapidly receding earth.

      As for the bathrooms.
      Thats what that roll of zippy-topped plastic bags is for.

      And the coke? You didn't pack any?


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