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National Gallery of Art in US to Display Rare Moon Images from 1850s

This exhibition is curated by Diane Waggoner, curator of 19th-century photographs at the American gallery

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rare moon images
This exhibition is curated by Diane Waggoner, curator of 19th-century photographs at the American gallery. Pixabay

Long before the Apollo 11 put a man on lunar soil, the Moon had been photographed via unmanned missions and telescopes. An upcoming exhibition here traces how the lunar surface was captured starting as early as the 1850s.

The photo-show “By the Light of the Silvery Moon: A Century of Lunar Photographs” opens at the National Gallery of Art here on July 14. It presents 50 works from the 19th century to the ‘space-age’ 1960s.

On view would be a select survey of lunar photographs, including a late 1850s glass stereograph of the full Moon, a few 1865 albumen prints capturing the Moon’s different phases, and plates of different lunar areas from the late 1800s.

Apollo 11, rare moon images
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing on July 20, 1969. Wikimedia Commons

It is notable that photography was introduced in 1839, and Moon, since the advent, had been a major field of exploration. This exhibition is curated by Diane Waggoner, curator of 19th-century photographs at the American gallery.

“As NASA planned where to land Apollo 11, the unmanned American Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Orbiter spacecraft journeyed to the Moon and transmitted images, creating otherworldly photographs not only of the lunar areas visible from the Earth, but also of the Moon’s far side,” the gallery said in a statement.

rare moon images, apollo 11
It is notable that photography was introduced in 1839, and Moon, since the advent, had been a major field of exploration. Wikimedia Commons

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From more recent times, displayed will be a selection of photographs from these missions. From Apollo 11, glass stereographs taken by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin show close-up views of three-inch-square areas of the lunar surface.

Also on view are several NASA photographs of the astronauts on the Moon, such as Armstrong planting the American flag and the iconic image of the astronaut’s footprint in the lunar soil, and press photographs taken both before and after the mission. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing on July 20, 1969. (IANS)

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This Day in History: Apollo 1 Bursts into Flames, Killing 3 American Astronauts

All three American astronauts on board died in the fire: Lt. Col. Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Lt. Col. Edward White II and Roger B. Chaffee

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In this undated photo made available by NASA, (L-R), veteran astronaut Virgil Grissom, first American spacewalker Ed White and rookie Roger Chaffee, stand for a photograph in Cape Kennedy, Florida, today Cape Canaveral. VOA

US, Jan 27, 2017: Fifty years ago today, January 27, 1967, tragedy struck NASA’s proposed first manned flight of the Apollo capsule when a fire engulfed the craft during a routine test on the launchpad.

All three American astronauts on board died in the fire: Lt. Col. Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Lt. Col. Edward White II and Roger B. Chaffee.

The tragedy stunned the nation, and it temporarily stalled NASA’s push to meet then-president John F. Kennedy’s deadline to reach the lunar surface by the end of the decade

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A NASA probe and congressional hearings concluded previously unidentified fire hazards existed inside the capsule, and the subsequent decision to pressurize it entirely with oxygen created an extremely combustible environment. The hatch opened inward, which made it difficult for the crew to open it and escape.

After the deadly accident, hundreds of changes to the capsule were made, and NASA instituted myriad safety procedures. The redesigned capsules used a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen, reducing the fire risk. A new hatch was designed that could be opened in just five seconds.

Only 21 months later, NASA sent humans back into space aboard Apollo 7. And less than a year after that, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed Apollo 11 on the moon.

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To mark the 50th anniversary, NASA is holding a ceremony, which will be broadcast live on NASA television. (VOA)