Stunning short film about the Apollo moon landing made from astronauts' photos

Originally published at:


Great video and always great to see a tribute to what was undoubtably some of the most awesome shit us humans ever got up to.

That said there are some inaccuracies in the video that are worth correcting, because after all this is science.

  • The video shows the Command/Service module & LEM leaving earth orbit under thrust from the Service module engine. This is incorrect. The transit was begun under the trust of the Saturn third stage with the Command/Service module still stacked on top, and the LEM still in its legs folded position under the Service module, in the transition space between the third stage. After the transit burn by the third stage the Command/Service module detached and turned around, the transition panels bloomed open and detached, and the Command Service module went back in and docked with the top of the LEM, which then detached from the third stage, and the pair backed away. All in all a beautiful maneuver, and would have been more interesting to show. Shortly after this they spun around and the Service module engine did a short burn to put distance between it and the third stage.

  • in the montage immediately proceeding undocking of the LEM for the landing, they showed the moonscape passing while we watched Reaction Control Thrusters Firing. The thrusters shown in that scene were the thrusters on the LEM which stood off the crafts body on short pylons, where as the Service modules thrusters were tight to its cylindrical body. The LEM thrusters would not have been fired before undocking from the Command module, as the stack was “flown” from the Command module - which would have used the RCT on the Service module. So it was pretty to see that, but entirely inaccurate.

And, while not inaccurate but kind of misleading, you may be curious to know that the scenes proceeding leaving earth orbit showing the spacewalking were from Apollo 9, not one of the moon landing missions. And actually the astronauts that were on moon landing missions 11-17, never spacewalked in earth orbit in this fashion. Apollo 9 was the first flight of the LEM, and it was tested in earth orbit, including the EVAs which were the first test of the space suits that would be used for the moon walks. There was a space walk on each of the missions to retrieve film from a camera in the Service module, but this was done after the moon landings were complete, and after the photography of the moons surface was complete.


I found it irritating rather than interesting, sorry.

Apollo 13 (the movie) shows exactly this. AFAICT very accurate - looks pretty nice anyway.

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