We Americans really are the ultimate tourists. Even when we go to the moon, we take pictures of everything…and we bring our cars too.
A new gallery up on Flickr reveals the many moments, some seemingly mundane, of the Apollo space missions in terrific detail. The endless photos, in high resolution, are fascinating. And even though some shots may seem banal—the rover parked by the rock, the condensation on the lander’s window—we know they are not. They are the detailed work of a professional documenting as much as possible, even if that means it's the 16th consecutive out-of-focus rock picture.
It’s all in the details.
Contrary to some news reports, the Flickr gallery is not run by NASA, but the original images obviously did come from NASA. “Apollo and other space history images generously provided by NASA and others for processing and hosting on the NASA-hosted Journal as well as on my site...this new Flickr gallery is not a NASA undertaking, but an independent one, involving the re-presentation of the public domain NASA-provided Apollo mission imagery.” More about that here.
In the gallery, there are all those great iconic photos we've all seen before: The American flag (not blowing) in the wind, Earth as seen from the Moon. They are fantastic, but it's the outtakes that stick with me. The smiling astronaut—overexposed, blurry—smiling after a long day. The awkward tilted images. The imperfect candids taken just like we take them back here on Earth. These are the interesting ones that reveal something we haven't seen before.