Originally posted by lokomotiv23
I was wondering if anybody here could provide technical exemplars explaining how the Hasselblad cameras used on the Apollo missions (and the film they
contained) were shielded against radiation on the lunar surface. I'd assume that such measures must have been implemented given the effect of
radiation on emulsion-type film (just based on terrestrial effects I've seen), but have no way of knowing first-hand (the pertinent information seems
absent from the interwebs).
I can probably dig up various books and things I've read over the years on the subject if you like, but don't have much time just now! I enjoy
cameras and things, but it's not my main thing to do. Mostly I do post work.
Basic things I know:
The Hasselblad brand was actually being used in space since Project Mercury by NASA in space photography (1962 onwards from memory). The themosphere
reaching temperatures of 1,500 °C (2,730 °F), and the various conditions of near space was used as a testing ground for photography for both
Americans and Russians; NASA was actually making requests for modifications to Hasselblad prior to Apollo, which they were happy to provide for PR
reason. A lot of persons skip this and end up looking in the wrong places for all the information. It wasn't an over night thing and Hassellblad
actually incorporated and kept changes they made to the camera in cases making it look like they took a completely consumer camera into space.
They did have various processes to ensure the film was never properly exposed including keeping it in the film magazines:
This protected the film from other forms of
radiation. A solar flare might X-ray some film to death I imagine. The magazine is a major factor.
If you take a look at sources such as:
2008, Physical and biological dosimetry analysis from
International Space Station astronauts. Radiat. Res. pp170:127–138
1991, Radiation Protection for Human Missions to the Moon and Mars pp14
Radiation on the moon is allegedly not as dangerous as first perceived. It's often suggested you might need shelters to hide from solar flares, but
otherwise it's not so bad. This seems to match similar Russian thoughts that exposure over vast time is an issue more than short term exposure. Some
go as far to say that radiation counter measures wouldn't be needed on the moon's surface, and also state that once actually on the moon the dangers
are actually less severe.
You might want to look more into how the film was during the flight to and from the moon. There are studies over longer periods than the moon landing
though in space, and the film survived the encounter. I believe you will find that the moon landing photography wasn't perfect either. There will
have been some minor variations in tone etc ... on these images.
Honestly, I suspect it wouldn't be that hard to do a proper experiment to test these things. Most sources from all countries seem to agree that space
is more dangerous than the moon, and all of these countries have taken photos with film in space successfully over long periods of time. I guess you
could also look up results of probes to the moon etc and how long they were in orbit / traveling for from other countries. Especially perhaps take a
Can U2U me if you need sources, but honestly a lot of the time with this it's just a niche subject, and it takes a while to find bits and pieces. Is
a bit like being interested in how heat effects door hinges or something I guess.