Images from the dawn of the Apollo program

Chris Spurgeon says,

Each month at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, just down the road from where I live, there's a huge flea market. Last month I made a major score…twenty large glass slides from the dawn of the manned space program.

The slides (back then there was no Microsoft PowerPoint of course, talks were often accompanied by slides) appear to be from a presentation outlining how the U.S. could get a man on the moon. The best I can tell, the slides are from 1962 or 1963, just a year or two after President Kennedy set the goal of getting to the moon by the end of the decade.

There's some great stuff here, if I do say so myself…artist illustrations of what landing on the moon might look like, models of the lunar module prototypes, and some great weird graphs of the rise in transportation speeds and weapon destructiveness over the centuries.


Reader comment: NASA Apollo Lunar Surface Journal contributor Markus Mehring says,

A really nice find. I could swear I've seen some of those slides before,
possibly in the one or other NASA center archive. I'll look around and
report back in case I dig something up.

Anyway, on to the point:

You just have to appreciate the little bugs throughout some of these
slides, such as the orientation of Earth (uh, landing on the lunar north
pole?), and most of all its illumination in this scene. With sunlight
coming in from that angle, we should obviously be seeing a crescent Earth,
not a full disc like this. Certainly not every illustrator is a science
artist of, say, Don Davis or Rick Sternbach proportions.

I wonder how many Moon Hoax Believers™ will take this as proof for, well,
whatever exactly. After all, they also tend to argue that just because some
"NASA illustrations" depict a stark burned-in crater underneath the LM
descent engine (unrealisticly, and not in accordance with the local
circumstances and laws of physics), there has to be one in real life too,
and that the absence of same thus has to be "proof" for a faked landing.
Ironically, the way these slides show a charred and swept soil under the
lander is quite correct, and -not surprisingly- pretty much exactly what
actual Apollo photos document.

What do we learn from all this? A concept illustration is (1) conceptual
and (2) illustrative. It's artwork, not a real-life photograph, not an
accurate design diagram. There are limits to how much realism and
flawlessness one can expect from it.