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Hidden gems from the NASA photo archive

  1. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    While sitting at my desk during the lunch hour, I did a cursory search for photos in the official NASA image library that may be of interest to members of this forum. I was a bit surprised by how quickly I struck gold. As I search deeper in this vast library I'll post images that I consider to be true gems. Wherever possible I'll post full-resolution images, as it's often the smaller details that will be the most interesting.

    I encourage other prospectors to join in the search and post your gems here!


    Gem #1

    Official description in image library:

    Neil examines a rock sample during the Sierra Blanca trip. He is holding a geology hammer in his left hand and is wearing an Omega Speedmaster watch. Journal contributor Dan Buchan notes "his watch shows 1:12:33." 24 February 1969.

    ap11-S69-25197HR_armstrong_geology.jpg
     
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  2. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    When I first saw this image I wondered whether the chronograph was running, and if so, what was Armstrong keeping track of?
     
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  3. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    Gem #2

    Official description in image library:

    Neil Armstrong examines a sample during the Sierra Blanca trip. 24 February 1969

    ap11-S69-25197HR_armstrong_geology2.jpg
     
  4. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    In Gem #2 the chronograph second hand appears to be in a different position, so I suppose this answers one of my questions.
     
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  5. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    Gem #3

    In the image library there are dozens and dozens of photographs taken of indoor EVA training done by Armstrong and Aldrin in April 1969. During training the astronauts are fully suited up. Sometimes neither one is wearing a watch on the suit, and in a few images it appears that ....gasp... a non-Omega watch is strapped on Adrin's suit (I won't post those images here, as I would hate to be accused of popping anyone's balloon :) )

    In this image, Armstrong's wrist watch is not shown very clearly, but the official image description removes any doubt as to which watch he's wearing.

    Official description in image library:

    Neil (left) and Buzz during training in Houston. Note the OPS activator on the left side of Buzz's RCU mockup and the camera bracket on the front. Neil's pressure gauge and Omega watch can be seen on his right forearm. Buzz has a strap-on checklist on the gauntlet of his left glove. Journal Contributor Karl Dodenhoff notes that both Neil and Buzz are wearing protective covers on the front of the suit where we would normally see the various connection ports for oxygen and water. Photo is dated 23 April 1969 but was undoubtedly taken on 22 April 1969 during the "Lunar Timeline Demo for Dr. (George) Mueller"

    ap11-S69-32234HR_armstrong_EVA_training.jpg
     
    Edited Jul 28, 2015
  6. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    Gem #4

    I believe that Aldrin is towing the official line here, wristwatch-wise. Someone else with better watch I.D. skills could prove me wrong, however.

    Official description in image library:

    Buzz holds a LM model during a press conference.

    ap11-S69-33875_aldrn_LEM.jpg
     
  7. TLIGuy

    TLIGuy Jul 28, 2015

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    I don't want to get booed off the stage here by posting my images again regarding astronauts and their Speedmaster eye candy but you are correct the manned spaceflight image gallery is a treasure trove of Speedmaster goodness.

    As far as what Armstrong is timing goes maybe he has a bet with Collins on how long it will take Buzz to piss him off based on their somewhat contentious relationship at this point in history or he's timing how many pictures of him looking at a rock could be taken is 7 seconds.
     
    Edited Aug 10, 2015
  8. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    Gem #5

    This is from a large series of EVA training photos taken in June 1969. Launch day is coming soon. I noticed that Armstrong was pretty diligent in wearing a wristwatch outside his suit during training, but Aldrin rarely wore one. I think this provides some insight into their individual personalities: the Boy Scout, and the Free Spirit.

    Official description in image library:

    Buzz is wearing an EVA glove and is working on Neil's PLSS, with Neil in the suspension device. 25 June 1969.

    ap11-S69-32234HR_armstrong_EVA_training2.jpg
     
  9. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    Gem #6

    It looks like Mike Collins is going to be a team player wristwatch-wise. What I'd give to know which watch Aldrin was wearing in this shot -- maybe a Speedmaster? Maybe not?

    Official description in image library:

    Buzz Aldrin (left), Mike Collins, and Neil Armstrong review flight plans. 11 July 1969.

    ap11-69-H-1094_checklist_review.jpg
     
  10. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    Gem #7

    After reviewing several hundred pre-flight photos of the Apollo 11 astronauts, I became aware of a few, distinct watch-wearing practices. When suited for training or for flight, the wristwatch is universally worn on the right arm by all astronauts. Armstrong preferred to have the watch dial on the inward side of his arm, presumably so he could simply glance downward to see it without having to rotate his arm. Aldrin, however, preferred to have the watch in a more traditional position, on top of the arm; presumably he'd have to rotate his arm to be able to read the watch. In this particular photo, Collins (second in line in the photo) appears to go Aldrin's way. When not suited up, Armstrong and Aldrin wore their watches on their left wrist; Collins, however, wore his watch on his right wrist.

    Official description in image library:

    Neil waves to well wishers on the way out to the transfer van. Mike Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Deke Slayton (dark shirt behind Aldrin to the left) follow Neil down the hallway. Note that they are carrying Portable Oxygen Ventilators with whites hoses. See the discussion in the caption to 69-H-1057. Photo filed 16 July 1969.

    ap11-69-H-1121_flight_day.jpg
     
    Edited Jul 28, 2015
  11. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Married to MacGyverette! Jul 28, 2015

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    @Jones in LA...the geology hammer could be an Estwing...it looks just like the one I have. :thumbsup:

    Also, thanks for posting the cool pics. :thumbsup:
     
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  12. Davidt

    Davidt Jul 28, 2015

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    I've seen on another thread that Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins all wore Speedmaster Pros, but Collins is wearing a straightlug there.
     
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  13. persco

    persco Jul 28, 2015

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    This is great! Thanks for posting these.
     
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  14. redpcar

    redpcar Jul 28, 2015

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    Buzz has way more hair now than in the '60s. What's his secret? ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  15. trama

    trama Jul 28, 2015

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    "Neil examines a rock sample during the Sierra Blanca trip. He is holding a geology hammer in his left hand and is wearing an Omega Speedmaster watch"

    As a geologist myself, those pretty little Estwing hammers are far too dainty for real work and usually only get toted to the outcrop by eager students the first field trip after Christmas. I prefer a sledge from the hardware store. He is using the loupe correctly, by holding it up to your 'good' eye and raising the sample up to it. This is all moot, however, as I doubt NASA ever went to the Sierra Blanca area, and it was all shot in a hangar ;)
     
  16. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    Gem #8

    As far as gems go, this is about as precious as they get.

    Now that I'm more familiar with how a Speedmaster will look in photos of this era, I'm a little more confident in identifying Aldrin's watch as a likely Speedmaster.

    I love the official image description: "...arrives for work". Hell, yeah! He's going to the frickin' Moon!

    Official description in image library:

    Buzz Aldrin arrives for work, holding the keys to his Corvette. Photo filed 10 July 1969.

    ap11-69-H-1090_aldrin_corvette.jpg
     
  17. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    Gem #9

    The shape of Aldrin's watch case looks pretty Speedy-like to me.

    Official description in image library:

    Armstrong, Collins, Aldrin (left to right) examining mission photos, apparently out-the-window photos of the LM shadow area. Photo filed 3 August 1969

    ap11-69-H-1247_photo_review.jpg
     
  18. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    Gem #12

    A pre-flight photo of the Apollo 12 crew. Looks like astronaut Gordon has his Speedy on. Click on image to see photo in higher resolution.

    Official description in image library:

    Pete Conrad (left), Dick Gordon, and Al Bean in the Command Module at North American Rockwell Space Division, Downey, California during spacecraft checkout. Photo filed 29 September 1969.

    ap12-69-H-1556HR_crew.jpg
     
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  19. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    Gem #11

    Looks like a Speedy to me. And looks like Dick Gordon is another right-hand watch-wearer, like Mike Collins.

    Official description in image library:

    Dick Gordon poses in front of a LM mock-up at the Cape.

    ap12-S69-38862_gordon.jpg
     
  20. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Jul 28, 2015

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    Gem #12

    It was kind of a distant shot for me to make a confident call on the watch, but the official record says it all. Click on the image to see it in higher resolution.

    Official description in image library:

    Taken shortly after 69-HC-1037, showing the Dixie-cup stack on the HTC. Note Al Bean's open cuff checklist and his Omega wristwatch strapped to his sleeve just above the blue pressure gauge on his left arm. Photo filed September 1969.

    ap12-S69-55366HR_EVA_training.jpg