A British photographer has unearthed what is believed to be the last photograph ever taken on the moon.
Andy Saunders, a leading NASA restoration expert, has shared the extraordinary, newly remastered image of geologist and Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt.
The photo was taken by fellow Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan.
The release of the images Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 17 on December 7, 1972.
Mr Saundersfrom Cheshire, quit his job as a property developer to look through over 35,000 photos taken during the Apollo missions.
The images show what the Apollo 17 astronauts saw on the moon in unprecedented detail.
The project took 10,000 hours and 400 of the photos can be seen in his new book, Apollo Remastered.
To contextualize the images, Mr. Saunders combed through the transcripts of NASA’s tape recordings – leading him to believe the image is the last photograph taken on the moon.
The photo shows Jack Schmitt just before the crew leaves the lunar surface.
As NASA’s Orion spacecraft around the moon paves the way for a future moon landing, Mr. Saunders has released the collection of revised images from the Apollo 17 mission.
He said: “I’ve been obsessed with the Apollo missions since I was a child.
“I’ve always craved more and more information about the people who made the journey, the rockets, the spacecraft, and I wanted to see more to imagine what it would be like to make the journey myself.
“I used to get frustrated when I looked at old photos from the Apollo missions; the quality of the images we usually see is very low resolution, because for half a century every image we see in the media is based on duplicate film (or copies of copies of the duplicates) and low-quality scans.
“There are no photographs that deserve this level of care and attention more.”
He added, “I rated every frame from the entire Apollo program.
“That’s 35,000 photos and every frame of the 10 hours of footage the astronauts took with small-format film cameras.
“It took about 10,000 hours to remaster the photos and film.
“And only then could I start researching what we can see in the images by studying the transcripts and tapes of air-to-ground communications during missions, e.g. B. who took them or what the astronauts said at the time.
“I then selected 400 of these remastered and restored images for my book, Apollo Remastered.”
In 2019, Mr Saunders also discovered the first-ever image showing Neil Armstrong’s face while walking on the moon.
He noted that his facial expression was visible in three frames of high-definition video footage released by Nasa.
So he stitched the footage together to reveal the detailed image, which scientists have hailed as “poignant” and “touching.”
In September the book by Andy Saunders Apollo Remastered became a Sunday Times bestseller.
The book contains 400 remastered images of the Apollo missions and the story behind them.
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9862754/last-photo-taken-moon-uncovered-nasa-astronaut/ The last photo ever taken on the moon has been revealed, showing NASA astronauts on the last lunar mission 50 years ago this month