A 50 year project comes to fruition! In 1969 I decided to record the Apollo moon landings with the (analogue) technology available to me. My recordings and artefacts from the time are on display at the National Science and Media Museum until January 2020.
The National Science Museum’s (6 minute) captures my teenage enthusiasm in recording the mission and how it lead to a degree in physics.
Link to video
You can check out the actual reel-to-reel audio and digitised 8mm cine here.
Photos from the exhibition:
On Monday 15th of July 2019 I was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 live about the upcoming exhibition at the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, Yorkshire.
Link to audio
The Apollo 11 mission recorded using a Bell and Howell Standard 8mm movie camera. The images were recorded by filming the screen of a British 405 line television and are mostly the event live. Several 50 feet rolls of film were edited with home made titles to cover the mission from lift off to splash down. Watch on YouTube
The 1201 Alarm project is a personal project of Mark Wrigley and entirely by him with some help from the Institute of Physics and fees from the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, England. If you want to see what else he does check this link: Elektric Works.
The audio recordings made of Apollo 10 and Apollo 11 have now been digitised and you can hear them here: Drop box audio
Mark Wrigley talks to Sally Pepper of BBC Radio Derby about evidence of the moon landings:- Link to audio
Although the glory always goes to the Apollo 11 moon landing, Apollo 10 was a remarkable mission and celebrates its 50th anniversary. The mission was to test out the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) in lunar orbit. Separating from the Command Module (Charlie Brown), the LEM (Snoopy) would skim the moon just a few miles high. Or as Lunar Module Pilot Gene Cernan put it: “I’m tell you, we are low. We’re close baby!… we is down among ’em, Charlie.”
Back in 1969 I was busy photographing our family’s television screen and recording sound with a reel-to-reel tape recorder. By necessity much of the television coverage was from inside the space craft, so in celebration of the mission I have recreated a 35mm film proof sheet using the same film stock, Ilford HP3 and used the images that I captured from our family t.v. set and I’ve also digitised those recordings and placed the MP3 files in this drop box. You’ll find a high resolution version of the proof sheet there too.
Dropbox link to Apollo 10 audio and proof sheet
How do you record t.v. in the days before VCRs?
In the summer of 1969 NASA put a man on the moon. I was a 16 year old school boy living in Yorkshire (England) and I decided that I wanted to record these events which were broadcast live on television. In the days before domestic video recorders, I set about rigging the sound from our television to a reel-to-reel tape recorder and photographing the t.v. screen. First using still film, but later using an 8mm movie camera loaded with high speed black and white film. The archive that I created still exists and for the 50th anniversary I would like to make it available on line, through talks and exhibitions.
The Apollo 10 Photo Log Book
The National Science and Media Museum (Bradford, Yorkshire) have just commissioned the 1201Alarm project to be the centre piece of their exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The exhibition will run from July 2019 to January 2020 and feature sound bites, photographic scrap books, video and artefacts used for the original recordings. There will be a mock up of my 1969 living room and t.v. showing how the 1201 archive was created.
STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths)
The events of 1969 convinced me that I should change my course of study and work towards a physics degree. The 1201 Alarm projects intends to inspire students towards STEM subjects by Apollo related activities.
The Apollo Mission
The apollo mission was a risky business and it is down to the endeavours of individuals that the missions were a success. While the Apollo success story is well told, 1201 Alarm will look at the human issues and how we perceived them with the mass media of the time.
A younger generation of photographers, film makers and media students have little experience in the media used to capture this archive. 1201 Alarm will examine how the recordings were made using 1960s technology.