35,000 original photographs from NASA’s illustrious Apollo Moon missions are kept in a frozen vault at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and are secured with locks and keys. These images have been meticulously repaired for the first time in 50 years to present them to us as we’ve never seen them before.
It’s hardly unexpected that thoughts have turned to the first time that humans visited our satellite as we prepare for the first NASA mission to return to the Moon and aim to land the first woman and person of color on the lunar surface. Thanks to the photographic restoration genius of Andy Saunders, we may now once more explore the Moon in unparalleled detail.
Saunders, one of the best experts in the world for NASA digital restoration, has employed cutting-edge methods and talents to make the highest quality Apollo photographs ever created, which have been collected together in a stunning new book called Apollo Remastered. As Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke attests, we can now experience spacewalks and Moon strolls as if we were actually there.
“Andy Saunders’s refurbished photographs are the closest thing to really being there since they are so clear and authentic. . . They perfectly capture what I recall from the Apollo 16 mission to the Moon. These images clearly depict how the Moon actually was.
Items left on the Moon included golf balls and family portraits in addition to flags.
In the book about the family image he left on the Moon in 1972, Duke writes, “Leaving the photo of the family on the surface was an emotional event.”
It’s amazing to think that in a few years we’ll be able to see what this scenario would look like with 50 years of technology. Are we about to get the first footage of the Moon’s surface?
The last time people stepped on the Moon was 50 years ago in December of this year, and yet we still have images like this. In the coming decade, we may expect not only brand-new, breathtaking images from the Moon’s surface, but also the technical prowess of people like Saunders on Earth, who transport us there in their footsteps.