Never-Before-Seen Photos From the Early Days of Space Exploration
The Gemini astronauts also took some of the most memorable photos in NASA history. You’d think we would have seen them all by now. But with Nasa’s help and funding, a team of researchers at Arizona State University led by lunar scientist Mark Robinson has retrieved from the archives dozens of outtakes that never made it into wide circulation.
Ed note: Check out our friends at Air & Space for more stunning photos from the Gemini mission.
These are an absolute treasure. I don’t know if it was the tight quarters, lack of illumination, or the particular light characteristics of the Hasselblad 70mm cameras used on these missions, but they are equal parts spooky and beautiful. They capture the sort of terrifying, dramatic excitement that I imagine being one of the first men in orbit felt like.
A little extra tidbit about spacewalk photos from this era: Those gas canisters you see in their hands as they exit the spacecraft? Those are called “zip guns”, and they were used to maneuver while outside the capsule. Sort of like when Wall-e rides the fire extinguisher through space.