"Apollo Lunar TV - Its History and Development from Armstrong to Leonov"

Stan Lebar
Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Program Manager, ""


The presentation covers the background for the selection of the non-standard broadcast format for the Westinghouse Apollo Lunar TV and its ultimate effect on the video as broadcasted throughout the world.. Unlike any other electronic equipment used on Apollo, the lunar TV Camera was required to operate during every phase of the Apollo mission either handheld by the astronaut or mounted in the Command Module, the LEM and the lunar surface during launch, translunar orbit, lunar landing and on the surface of the moon during lunar day and lunar night. In addition to these requirements it was to be achieved with a camera weight of seven pounds and the equivalent power of one Christmas light bulb. No television camera  had ever been built to satisfy the environment requirements as imposed on the Apollo Lunar TV camera as flown on the  Apollo 11 mission. 

A thirty-seven year flight model Apollo TV Camera will be demonstrated live in the format as received on earth when transmitted from the moon. 

In addition, the design and development of the Westinghouse Apollo Sequential Color camera, the role played by Tom Stafford, Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt in making it possible for the Apollo Color Camera to be first used on Apollo 10 is presented . The Apollo 10 Sequential Color Camera  changed the course of manned space television on all future manned space missions with the exception of the first  lunar surface Walk On The Moon by Armstrong.

The presentation also covers the TV Cameras as used on the Skylab program and the first U.S. Soviet manned space cooperative program, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). The discussion covers the interface with the Soviets and the modifications made by the Apollo Lunar Camera team to the Soyuz at the Balkinor Kosmodrone launch site.

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References and Additional Reading

Apollo 10 Television

Raleigh, J. T.
Apr 7, 1969


Anticipated performance of the Apollo 10 color television system

Selden, R. L.NASA-CR-106441
Apr 21, 1969


On the problem of continuous television during Rover traverses

Oconnor, J. J.
Aug 26, 1971


Ground-Commanded Television Assembly (GCTA)

NASA-CR-128829; R-3838F
Feb 25, 1972

A ground-commanded color television assembly (GCTA) was designed for use on lunar explorations associated with NASA manned Apollo missions. The camera system as seen on Apollo 15 provided television coverage in the vicinity of the lunar module (LM) landing site, and was mounted on the lunar roving vehicle (LRV) to provide color coverage of astronaut activity and lunar topography during traverses on the surface. Remote control of the camera from earth was accomplished through the existing real-time Apollo command links. The assembly is illustrated. The configuration satisfied all anticipated requirements of the Apollo 15 mission and was fully responsive to specifications. The technical approach was based on proven designs and offered maximum mission flexibility, potential growth, and capability to withstand environmental extremes encountered on the lunar surface.

Ground-Commanded Television Assembly (GCTA)

NASA-CR-134351; R-3901-F
Dec 29, 1972

The characteristics of the Ground-Commanded Television Assembly (GCTA) are discussed. The equipment was used to provide television coverage of lunar surface explorations during Apollo 15, 16, and 17 missions. The subjects include the following; (1) yoke/faceplate qualification data, (2) elevation drive improvement program, (3) Apollo 17 thermal data, (4) equipment status, and (5) drawing status. Illustrations of the components of the assembly are provided. Tables of data are developed to show the performance of the components.

Apollo 15 mission. Temporary loss of command module television picture

NASA-TM-X-69296; JSC-07912
Mar 1, 1973

An investigation was made into the temporary loss of command module color television picture by the ground station converter at Mission Control Center. Results show the picture loss was caused by a false synchronization pulse that resulted from the inability of the black level clipping circuit to respond adequately to the video signal when bright sunlight suddenly entered the camera's field of view.

Apollo experience report: Television system

Coan, P. P.
NASA-TN-D-7476; JSC-S-300
Nov 1, 1973

The progress of the Apollo television systems from the early definition of requirements through the development and inflight use of color television hardware is presented. Television systems that have been used during the Apollo Program are discussed, beginning with a description of the specifications for each system. The document describes the technical approach taken for the development of each system and discusses the prototype and engineering hardware built to test the system itself and to perform the testing to verify compatibility with the spacecraft systems. Problems that occurred during the design and development phase are described. Finally, the flight hardware, operational characteristics, and performance during several Apollo missions are described, and specific recommendations for the remaining Apollo flights and future space missions are made.

Light-weight television camera final progress report

Jul 30, 1959



JUL 31, 1963


Manned spacecraft advanced digital television compression study. Volume 1 - Text Final report

Apr 26, 1965


Manned spacecraft advanced digital television compression study. Volume 2 - Photographs Final report

Apr 26, 1965


Color television study Final report, Nov. 1965 - Mar. 1966

Bedford, A.; Bingley, J.; Broderick, J.; Kara, J.; Kell, R.; Krieger, S.; Lowrance, J. L.; Saxton, L.; Schroeder, A.
Mar 31, 1966


Use of goldstone mars station for reception of lm television from lunar surface


Hibbert, J. J.; Raleigh, J. T.; Selden
Jun 12, 1968


The design of the ranger television system to obtain high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface

Kindt, D. H.; Staniszewski, J. R.
Mar 1, 1965




Lunar station television camera

Selivanov, A. S.
JAN 1, 1968

Panoramic television cameras aboard Lunik lunar probes