How The Launch of Apollo 11 Looks Slowed Down at 500 FPS

It’s been forty five years since Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first two men to walk on the moon. The more unbelievable fact for us, however, is that apparently had cameras that could run at five hundred frames per second back then, as well.

For thirty seconds, the launch of Apollo 11 was filmed by a camera on location at 500 FPS. The ending result was a stretched out to about eight minutes, and gave us one of our sharpest looks ever at the launch of a spacecraft. Obviously, the content shown is a breathtaking sight on its own, but I really found myself focusing on the aesthetics of the video itself after a few repeat views. How amazing is it that we’re able to see footage this sharp, fluid, and clear from 1969? Shot originally on 16MM film, the film was spotlessly converted to HD for us to be able to view online. Check it out for yourself, and stick around for the commentary by Spacecraft Films‘ Mark Gray. For a video that lasts just under ten minutes, what you learn for nearly its entire duration is half of the enjoyment.

Seriously though. With just how expensive film should have been at that point, NASA must actually have been receiving sufficient funding back then.

  • Rick

    “The more unbelievable fact for us, however, is that apparently had cameras that could run at five hundred frames per second back then, as well.”

    Seriously??? Bell Labs had cameras at 8000 fps in the early 1940s.

    What is unbelievable is that these rockets were designed with slide rules and with all the computational power in existence today, we can’t figure out how to even so much as match their capability.

    BTW, filming lasted 30 seconds not 30 minutes.

    • sircracked

      Eh, 30 seconds, 30 minutes, whatever. I’m sure if the slide rule types could do it, us with our computers and the resulting attention to detail would be obviously superio….. Oooh! A Cat video!

    • Maaz Khan

      Fixed it. Sorry about that.

      And… that sentence you quoted was a joke.

  • https://www.facebook.com/dad.alain David Alain

    Christophe

  • https://www.facebook.com/ryder.terry Terry Ryder

    Wow

  • Joe Kelly

    I feel like the video went back to “real-time” near the middle. Or is it just my imagination?