Moon landing silly question

They say Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon and I’ve seen the video that shows him to climb down the ladder of the lunar module.

My question is: Who the heck is operating the video camera? Wouldn’t the camera-operator be the first man on the moon instead of Neil?

The camera was mounted on one of the legs of the lunar lander. It was positioned specifically to be able to capture Armstrong and Aldrin descending onto the lunar surface.

And I believe it had a string which started it after he was on the top of the ladder.

sheez the camara crew in the desert. :smack:
::: Ducks and runs like hell:::

My post was going to be similar-

"Damn! You’re right!


I watched the Moon landing with my dad. I seem to remember that the real first words as Neil Armstrong spoke as he stepped one foot on the ladder and one foot on the Moon were: “Its kind of squishy!”. Am I mistaken, or has this been edited out?

Bewildebeest, I remember that, too. The small step/great leap thing was what he said while he stepped down; once he was actually on the moon, he said “it’s kind of powdery and I can move it around with my foot.” Brought a tear to my nine-year-old eye… he travels a quarter million miles so he can play in the dirt…

The camera was on an equipment pallet which swung down from the side of the lunar lander. The equipment pallet contained various tools to be used by the astronauts on the lunar surface. The camera itself was on a small spring-loaded arm which swung out to point at the egress ladder when the pallet lowered. The pallet was released to swing down into deployed position by the astronaut pulling a cable after he exited the hatch, and the camera itself was switched on by the other astronaut closing a circuit breaker in the LEM cabin.

This same camera was then removed by the astronauts and used to film their activities on the lunar surface.

Having the camera there was important for a lot more than just letting the people on the ground watch the first steps live; it was mainly so the folks at NASA could make sure it was safe for the astronauts to step out in advance. Having a live television feed to the world was actually somewhat of an afterthought.

Here’s a good picture of the camera that was used to capture the subsequent EVA’s, where you could see both guys at once.

Squishy? Like blue cheese? :slight_smile:

While Armstrong was the first man on the moon, he wasn’t the first earth creature on the moon. Two days before the historic mission NASA launched Apollo 10 ½ which carried an all chimpanzee crew. The chimps had been trained, at great expense to the american taxpayer, to set up and operate a television camera and transmitter.

Here’s a photo of the astro-chimps training for their difficult task. They performed their duties flawlessly and flew several more missions until retiring from NASA in the mid seventies. The one on the left is now an executive at the Fox network where he decides which shows get picked up and which get canceled.


And the one on the right is now President.

You forgot to mention the lobotomy he had to get before they’d give him the job.

An interesting side effect of the camera being mounted on the side of the LEM was that when it was swung down to film Armstrong from its storage position it was in a upside down position. No big problem, except they forgot to tell the TV people. So the very first live pictures went out to the world upside down, until someone wondered why the ground was black and the sky was light grey and switched it over. Fortunately they got it right before Armstrong descended upside down from the sky.

This should clear it up for you.

And it was a good idea too, since when they tried to let the humans do it on Apollo 12, they screwed up and pointed the camera into the sun.

This is transcribed from the Apollo 13 soundtrack, track 2: “One Small Step.”

Houston: Okay, Neil, we can see you coming down the ladder now.

Armstrong: Okay. [pause] I’m, uh, at the foot of the ladder now. The LEM footpads are only, uh, depressed into the surface about, uh, one or two inches. It’s almost like a powder.

In the track, this is followed shortly by the “That’s one small step” line.