Technology on the Moon that hadn't been invented yet

I have seen some footage from various moon “visits”, and have always had a question about one certain clip.

It is a color clip from the moon’s surface.

It shows the Lunar landing module thing with the top-thing (where OJ and Sammy W. and Jimmy Brolin supposedly sat) blast-off from the landing gear and accelerate straight up, to meet the orbiting command module, I think. It is usually only about 2 or 3 seconds long whenever I see it.

Things I wonder:

Color? Like film or video? Who went back go get the film once they were in space?

When the return-module thing blasts-off and goes up, the camera follows. Is this done by the guy who brings the film back, or did they forget him on the surface.

A tripod with a lazer/servo combo to track and film the launch and broadcast color video back to Earth?

(AND Not one picture of a guy who wrote “Buzz waz HERE, BITCHES!!!” or something in the sand? NOT ONE? 'Cmon now. Not one? No one wrote “Fuck you Russia!” for all posterity? If they were on moon, they’d know that shit would stay for a million years.)

I know, it has been proven a zillion times we went to the Moon, but if they wanted to fake it, they certainly could’ve. This shit bothers me. I read the hoax book and wasn’t convinced.

So the question is: how was that clip done?

Well, IIRC, they only got it right on Apollo 17 (the last one.) The camera was mounted on the lunar rover, which means 15, 16, and 17. The camera could be remote-controlled from earth. The command for it to pan up actually had to be sent several seconds early (to account for the time it took the transmission to reach the rover.)

They missed the ascent entirely on 15, got part of 16, and captured 17’s almost perfectly.

ETA: as far as the delivery, NASA had been broadcasting live, color motion pictures since at least Apollo 13. If you saw the Ron Howard movie, they pre-empted Lovell’s broadcast on that mission because going to the moon had become “routine” by that point.

And here’s the clip in question:

Yep. In the series “Moon Machines,” I think it was Flight Director Ed Fendell who mentioned having entered the commands six seconds before the ascent stage actually fired it’s engine.

Oh no! If only we had color television technology in the late '60s and early '70s.

Wait, we did. Never mind.

Blake covered how the panning was done, thank you.

And as for your parenthetical comments, that is the reason they only let grown-ups fly the rockets.

One of the astronauts did write his daughter’s initials on the lunar surface.

While I don’t imagine Armstrong doing any of those things, for some reason I have no problem thinking Buzz might have.

Well, it seems they like to mix material from the last in with the first. AND THEY DO! They represent that shit as historical and wonder why people say “hey wait a fuckin’ sec,”

I shouldn’t be surprized, I saw in Historychannel some “new, never before seen, took 2 fuckin’ years to find footage, and we looked worldwide, and yup…you guessed…COLOR WITH SOUND in Hi-Def no less.” with like Kevin Bacon or some dipshit narrator, with the real vets popping in to comment.

Color with sound, on one camera, WWII.

Somewhere the astrisk is always hidden.

What’s not historical about historical footage? That they create a montage?

Wait, are you talking about “World War II in HD”? Nowhere in the series or its publicity did they claim that the footage had sound–in fact they pretty obviously used actor’s voices to re-create soldiers’ stories from letters, diaries, etc. The sound effects were dubbed in, of course–nobody disputes that.

One of the editors of that program has an interesting article here: Link which includes the preview for the show. I think everyone realizes that the sounds of the guns firing, planes crashing, etc., was an editorial decision…

You find no problem in historical portrayal as long as the layman get the message.
Got yours.

:stuck_out_tongue: They had this thing called ‘broadcast TV’ back then. Maybe you saw all the antennas on peoples houses? Or did you think everything was direct cable?

As for color, it was invented (IIRC) in the early 50’s…it just wasn’t in wide use until later. So…it really wasn’t even a small stretch that they would have the capability to set up a remotely operated broadcast system to beam back a signal with color video in it by the early 70’s.

Analogue PTZ systems were in use during the 60’s, man. Sure, it was expensive, but you may have noticed that the moon trip wasn’t exactly done on a shoe string, budge wise.

You seem to be laboring under the impression that this technology didn’t exist back in the dark ages of the 60’s and 70’s. The Germans used close circuit TV cameras using UHF radio waves to beam back images from cameras mounted in experimental guided aircraft during WWII…this technology wasn’t exactly a new thing, ehe? The only challenge for the moon video was that the bandwidth coming back through satellites (yeah, they had those too back then) was low.

Seriously…surely you’ve seen historical footage (in color and broadcast) from Vietnam, right?

Well, that’s what the foot prints were for. :stuck_out_tongue: And then there is all the equipment they left, a plaque, and of course a laser target system that is still used today to bounce lasers (yeah, they had those too back then) from the earth to the moon and back again.

Can you explain what, in the mountain of evidence clearly showing that we DID go to the moon, you find bothering?


I firmly believe they went to the moon, but I have to admit - every time I see that clip it looks to me like a model being inexactly pulled up by a string, what with the ‘wobble’ as it rises.

Yeah…reaction thrusters do that. I don’t have a link, but one of the experimental landing craft that the astronauts used here on earth to practice with (and one of them barely ejected from before it plowed into the ground) wobbled in a very similar way. A lot of craft that use reaction thrusters for pitch and yaw (instead of aerodynamic surfaces) have that kind of effect, especially when operating outside of the atmosphere.


You know the footage of the Hindenburg, with it on fire and crashing and the newsman crying “Oh, the humanity?!” We’ve seen it a million times.

Here it is.

Is anyone really under the impression that the film stock and soundtrack were recorded together on the same device? Or does it make sense to dub the radio broadcast over the silent film, thereby providing both a visual and aural experience for the event? It’s not disingenuous.

Now, something like showing the motion picture footage of the RMS Olympic (with Captain Smith on the bridge) and calling it footage of RMS Titanic–which has been done tons of times–is disingenuous, because that would mean making a false claim.

There’s no such false claim in the WWII show, the Hindenburg footage, etc. Hence, any objection to such a claim amounts to the creation of a straw man.

Going by the Wiki article on color television, it looks like it was invented in the early 40s or earlier, depending on how you define it. So yes, it was old hat by the Moon landings.

Huh…I didn’t know they had broadcast color back then. Thanks for the info…learned something there. I always thought the first broadcast color was in the early 50’s!


From the same article, all three major networks were broadcasting in color in prime time by the 1966-1967 schedule, several years before the moon landing. I remember my cousins getting a color TV sometime in the mid 1960s.

Apollo 12 was supposed to the first one with color TV broadcast from the lunar surface but Alan Bean broke the camera by accidentally pointing it at the Sun as he was setting it up.

Before you start asserting that “they” did something, it helps to understand which “they” you’re talking about.

Don’t confuse Discovery or the History Channel with documentary history. It’s infotainment at best. And don’t blame NASA for their breathless controversy mongering.

History Channel are the same folks who run ghost finders & UFO shows 8+ hours a day. Objective, serious, and scientific are NOT part of their vocabulary. Inane sensationalism, and making a 20 minute show out of a 2-minute clip are their stock-in-trade.

Part of the problem we have believing that color TV was used back then is that a lot of times, the only extant copy of a program is a black and white screen recording. For a while, the originals were often reused and/or destroyed to make room for other things.