Apollo 7 Mission

Overview | Activities | Photography

Mission Photography

The Apollo 7 mission focused on two specific photographic objectives: synoptic terrain photography and synoptic weather photography.  The photography was also reviewed by a cross-section of disciplines in the scientific community including geography, cartography, meteorology, oceanography, geology, hydrology and the study of agriculture and forestry. 

Terrain photographyThe objectives of the synoptic terrain photography experiment were to obtain high-quality photographs of selected land and ocean areas and to evaluate the differences between color and black-and-white film.  More than 500 photographs were taken during the mission, and 200 were usable in this experiment.



Weather photographyThe objective of the synoptic weather photography experiment was to obtain photographs of as many as possible of 27 basic categories of weather phenomena.  Approximately 300 of the total 500 photographs taken showed items of meteorological interest, including excellent views of Hurricane Gladys and Typhoon Gloria. 

October 14, third day of the mission, witnessed the first live television signals broadcast to the ground from a manned American spacecraft.  The telecast opened with a sign that read “From the lovely Apollo room high atop everything.” It was one of seven historic broadcasts during the mission that included views through the window, spacecraft tours, and demonstrations of weightlessness and food preparation.  The seven telecasts lasted only a few minutes each, but gave millions on Earth their first view of living in space. 

Cameras and Accessories

Apollo 7 cameraThe onboard cameras for the Apollo 7 mission were a 70 mm Hasselblad still camera fitted with an 80 mm f/2.8 standard lens and two 16 mm Maurer sequence cameras with bayonet-mount 18 mm f/2 and 5 mm wide angle f/2 lenses.  Film was chosen for each specific mission photographic objective: medium-speed color reversal film for synoptic terrain-weather experiments and rendezvous and spacecraft-LM adapter photography, high-speed color film for cabin interior photography, and high resolution low-speed black and white film for some phases of the synoptic terrain-weather photographic experiments.  Camera accessories included window mounting brackets, right-angle mirror attachments, ultraviolet filter, a ringsight common to both camera types, and a spotmeter to determine exposures.

In addition to the still cameras, a 4.5-pound RCA television camera with a 160 degree wide-angle lens and a 9 degree lens was used to relay live TV pictures during the mission.