Ed von Renouard’s Super 8 movies
of the Apollo 11 EVA
as seen at Honeysuckle Creek


 

Monday 21st July 1969 (Australian time)

Ed von Renouard was (by a fraction of a second) one of the first people to see the television pictures coming down from Apollo 11.

As Honeysuckle Creek’s Video Tech, Ed’s responsibility was to operate the Slow Scan console which received the 10 frames per second / 320 line picture from Apollo 11. He also operated the Scan Converter, which converted the lunar TV to US TV standards of 30fps and 525 lines.


Ed von Renouard

Ed von Renouard at the Honeysuckle Creek video console during the Apollo 11 Moonwalk.

This picture was assembled from a right to left pan of Ed’s Super 8 movie camera. This segment was shot, it seems, after Armstrong and Aldrin had re-entered the Lunar Module. After the EVA ended, live TV continued for another 2 hours and 48 minutes.

Click here for a key to the above photo. (Picture assembled by Colin Mackellar.)


Ed von Renouard

Ed von Renouard at the Honeysuckle Creek video console.

It was through this console that the television picture of Neil Armstrong’s ‘first step’ was seen.

The high resolution slow-scan TV monitor is at the top of the slow-scan TV processing rack to the left of Ed.

This monitor could display the ‘standard’ slow scan picture of 10 frames per second at 320 lines per frame or a high resolution mode of 0.625 frames per second at 1280 lines per frame.

In practice, only the lower resolution video of 320 lines was transmitted back to Earth.

Directly above Ed’s head (clearly visible in the large version of the photo) is the toggle switch used to invert to television for the beginning of the broadcast when the camera was mounted upside-down in the MESA on the side of the descent stage of the Lunar Module.

This photo was taken during the Apollo 12 mission. Photo supplied by Hamish Lindsay. Large, Larger.



In addition to taking 35mm photos of the monitors at Honeysuckle during the EVA, he also took some footage with his Super 8 movie camera. He did this for his own souvenir of the event, however Ed’s recently re-discovered (2005) footage is some of the best of the TV of the Moonwalk.


Ed von Renouard with his Super 8 camera

Ed von Renouard with his Super 8 movie camera. Photo taken during a later Apollo mission. Scan: Ed von Renouard.


A DVD of all of Ed’s footage (about 15 minutes’ worth of Apollo 11 EVA as well as some material from other missions) is available.





Neil Armstrong on the Ladder

Here’s something that wasn’t seen by the International TV audience...

Until Neil was on the footpad, Houston relayed Goldstone’s video – on the left in the comparison below – to the TV networks.

(While Goldstone was receiving an excellent picture, equipment problems meant that only a very dark picture reached Houston.) All that could be seen of Neil was the silhouette of his legs. When the switch to Honeysuckle’s picture was made, Neil could be seen, waiting to step onto the surface.

At Honeysuckle Creek, Ed von Renouard captured three segments of – Neil coming down the ladder; then jumping back up to check his step; and finally standing on the footpad. Ed’s sequence ends about a second after Houston switches to Honeysuckle’s picture. (Read more about the television here.)

Please right click on this link to download the file.

On this 5.7MB MPEG4 file, watch a side by side comparison of what the International TV audience saw and what Ed recorded at the video console at Honeysuckle Creek.

The source for the International Broadcast is Mark Gray’s excellent Spacecraft Films set – used with his permission – the source for which was a video transfer from the Johnson Space Center.

Spacecraft audio is on the left channel. The tracking station network (Net 2) is on the right channel, and is mixed with the internal Honeysuckle Ops loop. Mike Dinn is heard reporting, “Honeysuckle Video online”.

Hear more of the Net 2 recording here.

(Have trouble playing the MPEG4 file? It’s also available as a Flash movie – encoded by Mike Dinn.)





Dumping of the PLSS Backpacks

Another event recorded by Ed was the dumping of the PLSS two and a half hours after the EVA ended. It is quite possible that this is the only surviving recording of that event.

Here’s a short MPEG4 clip of the PLSS dumping sequence. The camera was hand-held, and mission audio has been added.





Back to the Apollo 11 TV section.

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