In 1969 Apollo-12 Lunar Module pilot Alan L. Bean photographed Apollo 12 Commander Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr. standing next to Surveyor-3 because despite all of NASA's technological innovation that had led to the moon landings and the exploration of space, the astronaut selfie-stick had yet to be invented (and perhaps hasn't still?)

But it seems that Surveyor-1 was photographed from space by a selfie drone Lunar Orbiter 3. This interesting answer about the orbiter's "space darkroom" where it robotically developed photographic film while in orbit around the Moon, scanned the negatives, and then beamed back what are essentially "space faxes" to Earth links to the lengthy review paper Lunar Photography: Techniques and Results by JPL’s Raymond Heacock published in 1968. Clicking "print this article" generates a viewable on-line pdf.

The paper is really worth a good read, it's full of interesting information.

One item caught my attention in particular. In sect. 8.C of the paper on page 256 it says:

The Lunar Orbiter-III was used to photograph the Surveyor-I spacecraft sitting on the moon. The three views of the lunar surface shown in Figure 36 are of the Surveyor-I landing area. The left-hand photograph shows the landing area in Oceanus Procellarum, the crater Flamsteed E, and the crater-wall peaks of the large-ghost crater which were photographed by Surveyor-I. The center photograph shows the high-resolution camera view of the Surveyor-I landing area. The right-hand photograph is a 16 to 1 enlargement of a portion of the area inside the black square shown in the center photograph. The Surveyor-I spacecraft is seen as a white object casting a 10-m shadow.

Unfortunately the reproduction of the paper in the linked pdf is a low tech 1-bit or half-tone reproduction, so I can't really see what's happening.

Question: Is there a better source for this historic image?

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Videos found here: https://ricochet.com/archives/saturday-night-science-destination-moon-lunar-orbiter/

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It doesn't look like exactly the same picture but the LOIRP released a picture of Surveyor 1 taken from Lunar Orbiter 3.

enter image description here

It may just be rotated 90 degrees from the picture in the question based on that bright half illuminated crater.

Edit: Thanks to uhoh for producing a scaled, rotated comparison image.

enter image description here

  • moonviews.com/2009/09/… – uhoh Sep 14 at 4:12
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    Looks great, and there's the shadow. I think it is probably the same image, the ("dotted") stitching line passes nearby the same way in both cases, and the chances of that happening twice within tens of meters is pretty small. – uhoh Sep 14 at 4:15
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    Yeah, I later saw the 2 small craters between the big one and the Surveyor, I think it's indeed rotated. – Organic Marble Sep 14 at 4:17
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    ...and at about the same time of "day" as well: i.stack.imgur.com/oWS28.png (you're welcome to include if you think it's interesting) – uhoh Sep 14 at 4:21
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    Thanks, I will add it in tomorrow, I'm on my 'stone knives and bearskins' device for the night. – Organic Marble Sep 14 at 4:24

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