L. M. RAMSEY



Laura Margaret Ramsey (American, she/her) is a Toronto-based scholar, imaging specialist and artist. Ramsey is known for her use of data visualisation & sonification to explore the natural world, imaging processes and computational awareness. Her work is heavily influenced by the structure of the archive, the preservation of obsolete technology, and the algorithmic approaches in data management.



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MOONQUAKE / 2018




"We should have had a historian running around saying 'I don't care if you are ever going to use them -- we are going to keep them'." - Richard Nafzger, an engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

In 2006, NASA admitted that they had magnetically erased tapes with the original video footage of the 1969 landing on the moon - to re-use and save money (luckily they found good copies in the archives of CBS news). After I read that article, I started looking into the depths of the photographic archive to see what they had held on to - and what I could possibly recover.

The Apollo Lunar Surface Close-up Camera (a stereo-macro camera), known officially as the ALSCC; was used on the moon by Neil Armstrong, Alan Bean, and Alan Shepard during the Apollo Missions 11, 12, and 14 (1969 - 1971). The slide pairs, originally taken on SO-168 Ektachrome 70 mm, high-speed color reversal film, ASA 160; were meant to be viewed through a stereo viewer in order to observe the three dimensionality of the lunar surface geology.

 



Each image represents approximately 7 x 8 centimeters or 2.8 x 3.2 inches of the lunar surface.
NASA/JSC/ASU
There is a deep moonquake every 27 days, roughly the same amount of time that it takes the moon to orbit the Earth. These lunar tremors were first felt and recorded by the Apollo 11 mission astronauts in 1969. In the two hours and fourteen minutes that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent on the moon, they collected rocks, recorded samples of the regolith (lunar soil), and planted a seismometer. In the following missions to the moon, more seismometers were planted, and data recorded for a total of eight years. This data was recently re-analysed using an algorithm-based program to uncover hundreds of previously unknown tremors, revealing this monthly pattern.

Using the LSCC (Lunar Surface Close-up Camera), stereo images of the lunar regolith were collected by the astronauts. I assembled all the RAW data from the 35 mm stereo scans held in the archive and combined the frames into animated GIFs to resurrect the 3D effect. These assembled archival images, when viewed in this format, help to illustrate the concept of an actual moonquake, and also to prompt empathy for the monthly impact on our celestial neighbour.




APOLLO 11 - NEIL ARMSTRONG


Soil disturbed by astronaut activities.
Frame #6697A + B / Magazine: 45



Loose aggregate surface material.
Frame # 6706A + B / Magazine 45



Crater bottom with prominent glass deposits.
Frame # 6707A + B / Magazine 45



Loose aggregate surface material.
Frame # 6708A + B / Magazine: 45



Hard rock surface.
Frame # 6709A + B / Magazine: 45



Hard rock surface.
Frame # 6712A + B / Magazine: 45


APOLLO 12 - ALAN BEAN


Surface not greatly disturbed by LM descent engine exhaust.
Frame # 8446A + B / Magazine: 57



Soil surface disturbed by astronauts boots.
Frame # 8448A + B / Magazine: 57



Soil surface distrubed by the LM descent engine exhaust.
Frame #: 8450A + B / Magazine: 57



Surface not greatly disturbed by LM descent engine exhaust.
Frame # 8452A + B / Magazine: 57


Surface not greatly disturbed by LM descent engine exhaust.
Frame # 8454A + B / Magazine: 57


Surface not greatly disturbed by LM descent engine exhaust.
Frame # 8455A + B / Magazine: 57



APOLLO 14 - ALAN SHEPARD


MET Track; Taken at at a location midway between the LM and Station A.
Frame # 10357A + B / Magazine: 77


MET Track; Taken at at a location midway between the LM and Station A.
Frame # 10358A + B / Magazine: 77


Astronaut bootprint; Taken at at a location midway between the LM and Station A.
Frame # 10359A + B / Magazine 77


Astronaut bootprint; Taken at at a location midway between the LM and Station A.
Frame # 10360A + B / Magazine 77


Thermal Degradation Sample; Taken in the vicinity of Station A.
Frame # 10367A + B / Magazine 77