Practice Makes Perfect: How the Apollo 11 Crew Prepared for Launch

This post was written by Ivy Donnell, a technician in NARA's Motion Picture Preservation Lab. You may have recently seen Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11 documentary, featuring archival film from the National Archives’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) holdings. The film footage of Apollo 11 makes the July 16, 1969 launch and subsequent Moon … Continue reading Practice Makes Perfect: How the Apollo 11 Crew Prepared for Launch

Spotlight: Last Minute Holiday Gifts!

Co-Authored by Beth Fortson and Corbin Apkin. You wake up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and realize that you have forgotten to get a gift for your sister's brand new "He's Totally The One" boyfriend. You get a text from your old college roommate two days before your New Years Party … Continue reading Spotlight: Last Minute Holiday Gifts!

The Measure of a Screen: Motion Picture Aspect Ratios in the Archives

Take a look at the two movie screens in the photos below. Notice anything different? The screen in the color image, photographed in 1998, is much wider than that in the 1946 black-and-white image. Each screen has a different aspect ratio. Merriam-Webster defines motion picture aspect ratio as “the ratio of the width of a … Continue reading The Measure of a Screen: Motion Picture Aspect Ratios in the Archives

Spotlight: The Launch of Sputnik 1

Sixty years ago today, October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union sent into orbit the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. The beach ball sized satellite, weighing 183.9 pounds, took 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. Sputnik's launch captured the world's attention and caught the American public off-guard. They feared the Soviets' ability … Continue reading Spotlight: The Launch of Sputnik 1