Apollo Television Camera, a photo from the Boing Boing Flickr Pool


I like the language that it “must be exercised” every three months. I myself, with fewer time-sensitive components, can go for somewhat longer.


From a quick look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_TV_camera this type of camera was only used for Apollo 7 and 8’s Command Module, and Apollo 11’s Lunar Module. 10 FPS of 320 scan lines with 200 line resolution, in only 4.5 pounds!

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I have an older RCA broadcast TV camera user manual that suggests the opposite - that the Image Orthicon tube requires a rest period to improve its performance. Go figure.

I love the apparent absurdity of the “Class III - Not for flight” sticker. We can strap that sucker to the largest directed-bomb known to man (at the time), light the fuse, and send that sumb*tch to the moon; just don’t put it on a 737 bound somewhere more… terrestrial, as it’s too fragile. :slight_smile:

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Interesting point. Maybe it was used for training, with a different “clean” one launched. I think NASA also had duplicates of practically all its equipment on hand for trouble shooting during flight.

I also require exercise every three months - sometimes four…ok maybe five on occasion.

In this context ‘flight’ means the flight of the spacecraft. The most likely reason for the sticker is it’s a training unit, or a test unit, and wasn’t fully checked out for actual use on a spaceflight. As a possible alternative, NASA did a lot of studies on hardware that had flown to see what the effects of spaceflight had been; the sticker might be there to ensure this camera didn’t get flown a second time.

Meh, party-pooper. I like my bombastic and overly-energetic explanation better, myself :slight_smile:


For the longest time I’d thought that one of the cameras used on the moon, and subsequently returned by the Apollo 18 crew, was found to contain strep bacteria. Alas, this does not appear to be true.

Clarification of “Class III Not For Flight” label:

Note the "Class III Not for Flight’ decal applied to the grip. When an item returns from a mission, NASA inspects the equipment thoroughly. During this inspection they would looks for points of failure and either address them or *decommission the equipment.

An item may also be decommissioned if the equipment is made obsolete. When this decommissioning takes place, the NOT FOR FLIGHT decal would generally be applied and the unit would be taken out of service

Despite living here since 2006, I stumbled across a Karpeles Manuscript Library museum in town for the first time, yesterday…which, as it turns out, has more than manuscripts in it. I was on my way somewhere else and just had time to peek at a couple of exhibits on the first floor, one of which was some Space Race-era spacecraft bits, including an Apollo guidance computer (right next to some small Egyptian relief carvings and several large wooden ship models…it was an eclectic place that I’m looking forward to spending more time in).

Not sure where I was going with that, except to say that I like spacecraft bits.

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