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Apollo 14 Descent & Landing at Fra Mauro - 16mm DAC footage (rotation-corrected with audio)

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Apollo 14 Descent & Landing at Fra Mauro - 16mm DAC footage (rotation-corrected with audio)

Post  Admin on Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:24 am

Uploaded by LunaCognita on Jan 25, 2011

In this presentation, we will look at the perspective-corrected 16mm Data Acquisition Camera (DAC) footage that was shot during the Apollo 14 descent and landing on the lunar surface at Frau Mauro. For the duration of this descent footage, the DAC motion picture camera was mounted in the right side forward-facing (LMP) window of the Apollo 14 Lunar Module "Antares", providing us a view looking down at the Moon's surface from pitchover till touchdown. I also included the synchronized approach & landing mission audio as well, letting you hear the chatter between CDR Alan Shepard, LMP Edgar Mitchell, and CapCom Fred Haise.

Rather than just showing the raw footage here as it is cataloged in the NASA film archives, I instead show the footage in a rotation-corrected format in order to always keep the scene in it's proper "horizon up" viewing orientation throughout the duration of the clip. This proper "horizon up" perspective can be established based on some simple visual criteria, with the goal being to ensure we are viewing the footage with the lunar surface being shown so that the Moon's horizon that is closest to the camera's current principle point always remains aligned and level towards the top of the field-of-view (even if the horizon itself is not actually visible at the time). This ensures that the surface scene you are viewing can be accurately interpreted.

As you can see in this footage, the rotation correction to align the scene to the "horizon up" viewing perspective is an absolutely vital adjustment that must be applied first in order to be able to even begin attempting to analyze and interpret scenes such as this one accurately. Because the DAC camera was hard-mounted in the window of the LM during liftoff from the lunar surface, this meant that the standard locked display perspective that NASA provides in their archive clips showing the Apollo descent and touchdown footage is ALWAYS displaying the lunar surface scene in an inaccurate perspective. For over 40 years, the public has actually been watching descent footage like this from the various Apollo missions where the lunar surface is being shown inaccurately.

The point to this simple presentation is to merely serve as a reminder to everyone who is interested in doing their own analysis of ANY of the Apollo DAC footage or still frames of the lunar surface to always consider the question of "what is the proper viewing perspective for each scene?" The ugly fact is that the vast majority of the Apollo DAC footage and still frames, as they are archived by NASA, are not presenting their lunar surface scenes to you in anything close to the proper "horizon up" viewing orientation that our eyes expect to see. Obviously, unless this improper viewing perspective is corrected for first, you have very little chance of being able to analyze the scenes you are looking at with any degree of accuracy at all.

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