Live TV From the Moon
ISBN 9781926592169


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Live TV From the Moon
Dwight Steven Boniecki

The further the actual landings regress into history, the more important reliance on the TV images to preserve the legacy of Apollo becomes. Consequently the background story of this important footage deserved a detailed analysis for future reference. My book was born out of a personal curiosity to understand how the cameras functioned. Accordingly, my desire has been to create a book which reflects the excitement of rediscovering the long forgotten information pertaining to the role television played during Apollo. After intense research of the NASA archives and sources outside the space agency (such as the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) I discovered a fascinating subject which was crying out to have its voice heard.

Readers with an interest in space exploration, whether they are established fans or curious newcomers, will be hungry for information. The TV systems used on Apollo were not without controversy. When President Kennedy issued the challenge to successfully land men on the moon and return them safely to earth by the end of the 1960s, NASA unwittingly found itself facing two-fold predicament. Should the American taxpayer be privy to a front row seat for history- in-the-making via television, and would it be possible to develop compact TV cameras for such a purpose within the set timeframe? Drawing upon the skill and knowledge of RCA and Westinghouse engineers a series of TV cameras were developed which revolutionized not only space exploration, but electronic news gathering as a whole.

The book covers everything from the earliest known proposals of TV coverage on lunar missions (to assist in landing rather than provide audiences with a tantalising view of the moon); through the constant battle internal politics placed upon the inclusion of the TV system on Apollo missions; exploring closely related subjects such as the slow scan conversion and later colour conversion; being followed up with overviews for each manned Apollo mission and the role TV played in covering the flight.

Live TV From the Moon takes what some may see as a very sterile or niche topic, and extends it into an interesting subject anyone can understand and relate to. Technical jargon is kept to a minimum, with tables and clear diagrams to assist in the explanation of more detailed areas. The book can be compared to the "Making of" documentaries surrounding feature films or documentaries. People have a natural curiosity to know how things were made. For the first time the manner in which the live telecasts from the moon will be given their own complete "Making of" account.

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