Prepared By





JUNE 1969




JUNE 1969

Submitted by

John L. Kaltenbach

Earth Resources Division

Manned SpacecraftCenter

Houston, Texas


            Scientists representing disciplines related to earth resources present preliminary interpretations of the 70-millimeter photography taken by the crew of the Apollo 7 spacecraft.  The photographs are compared with photographs taken at conventional aircraft altitudes and are evaluated regarding applications.  The individual photographic frames were examined with reference to important interpretation parameters.  Uses and benefits in the areas of land use planning, cartographic production, weather forecasting, oceanographic studies, regional geology, hydrological analyses, and agricultural surveys are described.

Table of Contents

Section                                                                                              Page


    I              SUMMARY.          


                             By John E. Dornbach and John L. Kaltenbach


    II             INTRODUCTION


                             By John L. Kaltenbach




                             By Samuel L. Miller


    IV           CAMERA SYSTEM.


                             By Edward Yost and Robert Anderson


     V            GEOLOGY


                             By Paul D. Lowman


     VI          GEOLOGY.


                             By Malcolm M. Clark


      VII        GEOLOGY..


                             By Stephen J. Gawarecki


       VIII      GEOLOGY


                             By Bruno E. Sabels


        IX       GEOLOGY.


                             By David L. Amsbury





Section                                                                                              Page


    X             OCEANOGRAPHY....


                             By I.D. Browne, James B. Zaitzeff, Victor E. Noble,

                             Don Ross, and Jack Paris


    XI           HYDROLOGY.


                             By Daniel G. Anderson


    XII          HYDROLOGY.


                             By Curtis C. Mason


     XIII        AGRICULTURE...


                             By Victor I. Meyers




                             By Robert N. Colwell


     XV         RANGE RESOURCES..


                             By Charles E. Poulton


     XVI        GEOGRAPHY


By Robert H. Alexander, Leonard W. Bowden, Duane F. Marble, David S. Simonett, and Jack E. Wilson



                                    By Robert Nugent




                             By Kenneth M. Nagler and Stanley D. Soules






Section                                                                                                        Page




                             By William Norberg and William Shenk


    XX          METEOROLOGY.


                             By Victor S. Whitehead




                             By Phillip N. Slater



                             FOR 70-MILLIMETER COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY...



                             PLAN FOR MISSION 981








Table                                                                                                 Page


                             CAN BE RECOGNIZED FROM SPACE




                             ATION OF APOLLO 7 PHOTOGRAPHY.











(a)   Flights made October 14 to 20, 1968..

(b)  Flight made October 22, 1968.




(a)   October 14 to 20, 1968.

(b)  October 22, 1968..




(a)    October 14 to 20, 1968 ..

(b)   October 22, 1968 ...









Figure                                                                                                          Page


  V-I            Mexico , Gulf of California , central Baja California ,

                             Mainland north of Guaymas..


  V-2            Iran , Persian Gulf Coast ...


  V-3            Brazil , Uruguay , Atlantic coast, Lagoa dos Patos,

                             Lagoa Mirim..


  V-4            United Arab Republic , Gulf Kebar Plateau..


  V-5            Mexico , Bahia de Petacalco, Balsas River


  V-6            Sinai Peninsula , Gulf of Suez , Gulf of Aqaba ...


XVIII-1       Hurricane Gladys centered off west coast of Florida, at 15:31

 G.m.t., October 17,1968 ..


XVIII-2       Hurricane Gladys photographed from ESSA-7 (meteorological

                             Satellite), October 17, 1968..


XVIII-3       Eye of typhoon Gloria (western Pacific Ocean ) taken at

                             00:26 G.m.t., October 20, 1968.


XVIII-4       Typhoon Gloria photographed from ESSA-7 at 05:05 G.m.t.,

                             October 20, 1968


XVIII-5       Northerly view of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands taken at

                             00:01 G.m.t., October 15, 1968..


XVIII-6       Supiori and Biak Islands in Indonesia are surrounded by the

                             Reflection of the sun at 02:19 G.m.t., October 22,1968 .


   A-1           World Apollo Index Map, Western Hemisphere.


   A-2           World Apollo Index Map, Near East





Figure                                                                                                          Page


   A-3           World Apollo index Map, Far East..


   A-4           Apollo photographic coverage enlargement of Baja

                             California area


   A-5           Apollo photographic coverage enlargement of Sinai

                             Peninsula area.


   A-6           ONC Index of Western Hemisphere.


   A-7                    ONC Index of Eastern Hemisphere...


   B-1           Test sites.


   B-2           Colorado River Delta Map.


   B-3           Texas-Arizona Map


   B-4           Central Texas Map.   




By John E. Dornbach and John L. Kaltenbach

Earth Resources Division

NASA Manned Spacecraft Center

Houston, Texas


      An earth resources briefing and science screening of the Apollo 7 mission 70-mm photography and NASA Earth Resources Aircraft Mission 981 photography held at the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) on November 14 and 15, 1968.  The Earth Resources Division (ERD), Science and Applications Directorate (S&AD), with the support from the Mapping Sciences Laboratory (MSL), was responsible for conducting this briefing, for the science screening, and for subsequent dissemination of the photography.  The primary purpose of the preliminary screening was to permit invited scientists and photographic interpreters from other NASA centers, user agencies, and academic institutions to study and evaluate orbital and related aircraft photography for possible use in the meteorology and earth resources disciplines.


      On the morning of November 14, initial briefings on the photography were given to 24 visiting scientists an approximately 20 MSC scientist.  After these briefings, the scientists, representing their respective disciplines, met with ERD Scientific Discipline Group Leaders at the MSL for the science screening of the Apollo 7 photography and the NASA Earth Resources Aircraft Mission 981 photography.  Upon completion of the science screening, user agency representatives and other invitees were asked to provide, individually or by scientific discipline group, written contributions to be compiled into a science screening report by the ERD.  The following comments represent a summary of the science screening contributions of the photography.



Science Discipline Evaluation


      Geology. -        For geologic utility, the Apollo 7 photography must be considered more comparable to Gemini photography than to Apollo 6 photography.  As a result of the obliquity of the majority of the views, true shapes of surface features tend to be distorted or obscured.  In geology, the main use of oblique photography is to show an introductory view, or a complementing view to vertical photography. 

      Oceanography. – The repetition of the Apollo 7 photography over certain areas, such as the Gulf of California, affords the opportunity for viewing of specific areas under different camera angles, sun angles, and atmospheric conditions and also provides a record of dynamic feature changes.  For example, sea-surface patterns in the Gulf of California are enhanced by sunglint on this photography and were not evident on previous space photography which shows no sunglint. 

Hydrology. – For hydrologic purposes, the Apollo 7 photography, although less useful because of the many oblique views, will be useful for the following purposes:

1.      General descriptive hydrology of river basins, lakes, irrigated land uses, etc.

2.      Qualitative analysis of bottom topography and sediment transport using the more oblique views that occur near sunglint areas.

3.      semiquantitative measurements of bottom topography and sediment transport using the near-vertical photography in which sunglint is not very close to the area of interest.

Agriculture-forestry-rangeland resources. – Brushlands, timberlands, and grasslands can be fairly well differentiated on some of the views of the southwestern United States.  A few of the photographs, although they are oblique views, are useful for evaluation of vegetation and related resource features.

Geography.the two major areas of use of the Apollo 7 photography in geography in geography are in urban analysis and in land-use and regional planning.  A land-use study of the internal structure of New Orleans can be made, and land-use and regional planning studies from space photography of the Imperial Valley and the California Coast can be continued.

Cartography. – The additional coverage of the Apollo 7 photography is of some value for photomosaic preparation, including extending the coverage of photomosaics and photomaps compiled from Gemini and Apollo 6 photography.  Certain areas covered by previous space photography can be studied to determine the value of this type of photography as a means of detecting changes for purposes of updating existing maps.

Meteorology. – Sufficient “cloud street” views occur in the Apollo 7 photography, over known locations and at known times, to provide useful information for the study of this phenomenon.  Atmospheric dynamics can be studied from the views of Hurricane Gladys and Typhoon Gloria.  Additional characteristics of sea-breeze effect, clearing over lakes and rivers, and structure over mesoscale systems can be gained from viewing this photography.

Photographic Image Quality Evaluation


Earth photography was not a primary objective of the Apollo 7 flight, and no provision was made for use of attitude control during photography.  The following circumstances, which either degrade the image quality or reduce the effective potential of orbital photography, are included as a guide for the planning and conducting of future missions.


1.                Numerous frames were either overexposed or underexposed, and there appeared to be a lack of exposure uniformity between individual frames.

2.                Emulsion streaks similar to those on the Apollo 6 photography were evident throughout the type SO-121 film.

3.                Many of the photographs were high obliques which make photointerpretative analysis and measurement extremely difficult.

4.                There were few of the sequential, stereoscopic photographs which are basic for most scientific analyses.

5.                Certain water-land interfaces and desert areas of the world, which were previously photographed, were again photographed many times.  These areas, although presenting spectacular views from space, have almost always been exposed in oblique and nonsequential views, which decreases their value for scientific analyses.

6.                Eastman Kodak color duplicating film, type 5386, was used to duplicate transparencies from the original type SO-121 film.  Although this film produces high-quality copies, type SO-118 duplicating film has been expressly designed to reproduce the high resolution of type SO-121 film.

Recommendations for Future Photographic Missions


Recommendations for future photographic missions include the following:


1.         Spacecraft photographic missions should be planned in detail prior to the mission so that a photographic plan properly coordinated with the experiments and crew activities is available for training purposes.

2.         The electric camera-shutter tripping mechanism should be integrated in some way with a recording system to correlate frame numbers with ground elapsed time (g.e.t.) and to determine a more exact spacecraft position at the instant a photograph is taken.

3.         If possible, all photography to be used for scientific analysis should be taken in vertical or near-vertical orientation (image plane of a camera parallel to ground) and with 60-percent overlap in the direction of flight.

4.         A preplanning and a target-aiming chart with exposure data for specific sun elevations should be prepared.  Experiments which differ radically from each other should be programmed for acquisition in order not to interfere with experiments which require optimum exposure.

5.         Photographs taken during the Gemini and Apollo missions can be used to study earth resources of a regional nature.  For more detailed studies, higher resolution or multiband photography would be required.

6.         Spacecraft windows should be designed so that they will permit a minimum of 50-percent transmission of the electromagnetic spectrum from approximately 0.4 to 0.9 micron.

7.         Special care should be taken to reduce redundant oblique coverage of a specific target of opportunity.  This recommendation does not suggest either elimination of the sequential, vertical and stereoscopic coverage of an area for photographic analysis or redundancy designed to fulfill periodic objectives of certain experiments.

8.         On future photographic missions, enough attitude-control fuel must be allotted to the photographic portion of the mission so that the spacecraft can be maneuvered and maintained in position for optimum photographic data acquisition.



            Representatives of the user agencies, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and other invitees were asked to participate in the preparation of a 90-day science report.  The participating scientist were requested to forward to MSC by February 28, 1969, results of scientific analysis of the Apollo 7 photography within this time interval and conclusions reached regarding the value of the Apollo 7 space photography in the meteorology and earth resources disciplines.  The Earth Resources Division plans to publish this 90-day science report on the Apollo 7 photography in a format similar to that used for the Apollo 6 Mission science report.

                                                 II.     INTRODUCTION

By John L. Kaltenbach

NASA Manned Spacecraft Center

Houston, Texas

            On October 11, 1968, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched a manned spacecraft from Cape Kennedy, Florida.  This flight, designated the Apollo 7 mission, orbited the earth 10.8 days and splashed down on October 22, 1968.

            Two of the experiments scheduled during this mission were to obtain synoptic terrain photography and synoptic weather photography.  The objectives of the Synoptic Terrain Photography Experiment were to obtain high-quality photographs (with color and black and white film) of selected land and ocean areas for geologic, geographic, and oceanographic study and to evaluate the relative effectiveness of color versus black and white film.  Nadir photographs were desired, particularly in sequences of three or more overlapping frames.  The objective of the Synoptic Weather Photography Experiment was to secure photographic coverage of as many as possible of the 27 basic categories of weather phenomena planned for coverage during the Apollo 7 mission.

            For the experiments, a Hasselblad 500-C (NASA modified) 70-mm format camera was used with a Zeiss Planar, 80-mm –focal-length, f/2.8 lens.  Kodak film types SO-368, SO-121 and 3400 were exposed, using Wratten 2A, 25A(red), and 58(green) filters.  More than 500 photographs (appendix A) were taken during the Apollo 7 mission.

            Color, color infrared, and multiband photography taken during NASA Earth Resources Aircraft Mission 981 (appendix B) within a week prior to, during, and after the Apollo 7 flight (of selected areas in the southern United States) as well as U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) color photography flown during the Apollo 7 mission, was available for comparative studies with Gemini, Apollo 6, and Apollo 7 photography during the science screening on November 14 and 15, 1968.


By Samuel L. Miller

NASA Manned Spacecraft Center

Houston, Texas

            Orbital insertion occurred at approximately 10 min 27 sec g.e.t. into a 123-by153-n. mi. ellipse.  At 1 hr 46 min 30 sec g.e.t., the Saturn IVB (S-IVB) had completed its safing, and the ellipse was 123 by 167 n. mi.  At 2 hr 55 min 2 sec g.e.t., the command and service module (CSM) separated from the S-IVB over Hawaii and stationkept over the United States.  The first phasing maneuver to set up the rendezvous conditions 23 hours later occurred at 3 hr 20 min 10 sec g.e.t.  This maneuver was a retrograde DV of  5.7  fps performed with the service module (SM) reaction control system (RCS).  The SM was targeted to place the CSM approximately 75 n. mi. ahead of the S-IVB at 26 hr 25 min g.e.t.  The resultant CSM ellipse was 122 by 164 n. mi.

            During the next six revolutions, the S-IVB orbit was found to be decaying more rapidly than had been anticipated.  This unexpected decay could have been caused by some type of venting through the J-2 engine, since the S-IVB was in retrograde orbital rate attitude.  A second phase maneuver of 7 fps retrograde was therefore performed with the SM RCS at 15 hr 52 min g.e.t.  The resultant ellipse was 120 by 165 n. mi.

            The first secondary propulsion system (SPS) burn was corrective combination maneuver which occurred at 26 hr 24 min 56 sec g.e.t., when the CSM was approximately 84 n. mi. ahead of the S-IVB.  The duration of the external DV was 9.4 seconds and was targeted to achieve the proper phase and height offset at the time of the second SPS burn.  The first SPS burn was nominal, with a resultant ellipse of 125 by 195 n. mi.

            The second SPS burn was a coelliptic maneuver which occurred at 28 hr 0 min 56 sec g.e.t., when the CSM was approximately 82 n. mi. behind and 7.7 n. mi. below the S-IVB.  The duration of the burn was 7.9 seconds.  The burn was targeted to achieve a coelliptic orbit with the S-IVB.  The resulting CSM 114-by 153-n. mi. elliptic orbit was approximately 8 n. mi. below the S-IVB.

            The terminal phase initiation maneuver was performed at 29 hr 16 min 45 sec g.e.t. and used the onboard computer solution based on sextant tracking of the S-IVB.  This 17-fps SM RCS burn was approximately 46 seconds in duration.  Following a small midcourse maneuver at approximately 29 hr 28 min g.e.t., the pilots began the braking phase at approximately 29 hr 47 min g.e.t. with final rendezvous closure to approximately 70 feet occurring at about 30 hr. g.e.t.  The ellipse at rendezvous was 121 by 160 n. mi.  Stationkeeping was terminated by a 2-fps SM RCS posigrade maneuver at 30 hr 20 min g.e.t.

            The ellipse at the end of the rendezvous was 121 by 160 n. mi.  The third SPS burn was targeted to lower perigee to 90 n. mi. and to place perigee in the northern hemisphere.  This 9.0-second maneuver occurred at 75 hr 48 min 00.3 sec g.e.t. and resulted in a 90-by160-n. mi. ellipse.  This maneuver lowered perigee to well within the  SM RCS deorbit capability and placed perigee in the northern hemisphere.  The in-plane velocity required to obtain a 90-by160-n. mi. ellipse was not sufficient to obtain a good stabilization control system (SCS) test; therefore, a DV of 200 fps was directed out of plane to the south.  The SPS burn time allowed a good SCS test as well as adjusted the propellant level for the propellant utilization gaging system (PUGS) test on the fifth SPS burn.

            The fourth SPS burn was an SPS minimum-impulse test of 0.5- second duration.  This maneuver occurred at 120 hr 43 min 0 sec g.e.t.  The velocity component was directed in-plane posigrade to raise perigee slightly.  This maneuver resulted in a 90-by156-n. mi. ellipse.

            The fifth SPS burn was targeted to position the ground track at the end of the mission so the primary revolution for the SPS deorbit burn (revolution 163) would have at least 2 minutes of Hawaii track and the next revolution would provide a backup SM RCS deorbit from apogee with touchdown occurring at a longitude of 60 °  west and north of the islands.  This shift of the orbital plane was accomplished by the large out-of-plane component of velocity directed southward in combination with an orbital period adjustment.  An overburn of approximately 50 fps occurred because of late cut-off, but did not perturb the trajectory significantly, and the target conditions were achieved.  The fifth burn, a 67.1-second burn, occurred at 165 hr 0 min 0.47 sec g.e.t. with resultant ellipse being 91 by 250 n. mi.

            The sixth burn was second SPS minimum-impulse test lasting 0.5 second.  The maneuver, occurring at 210 hr 08 min 0.47 sec g.e.t. was directed out of plane since no change to the 90-by 236-n. mi. ellipse was desired.

            The seventh SPS burn was targeted to place perigee in revolution 165 at a longitude of 53° west.  This was accomplished by rotating the line of apsides approximately 30 ° to the west with the 7.7-second burn at 239 hr 6 min 11.97 sec g.e.t.  The in-plane velocity required to obtain the desired rotation was all radial..  To avoid the problems of executing a completely radial maneuver, a DV of 100 fps was directed out of plane to the north.  The out-of-plane velocity increased the burn time, and a better SCS test was obtained.

            The eighth SPS burn was the deorbit burn.  This 11.8-second burn occurred over Hawaii at 259 hr 39 min 16.3 sec g.e.t.  The spacecraft touched down approximately 30 minutes later at a latitude 27 ° 38’ north and longitude 64°11’ west.

IV.               CAMERA SYSTEM

By Edward Yost and Robert Anderson

Long Island University

Brookville, New York

            Image quality varies widely from frame to frame, and the largest factor in poor quality is incorrect exposure.  With proper exposure, image quality is very good.  The high penetration characteristic of type SO-121 film, as compared to type 368 film, yields much better results when exposure is a factor.  Though underexposure of type SO-121 film results in a magenta tint, many of the underexposed frames on this film hold details which should be recoverable with individual frame photographic reproduction techniques.  Although time did not permit a detailed examination of Gemini and previous Apollo photography, the high ration of oblique to vertical photography and the inconsistency of exposure indicate no significant overall advance in Apollo 7 photography.

            Preliminary screening of the photography shows potential use of a number of the frames in a study of offshore topography, currents, sediment distribution, et cetera.  Multi-spectral stratigraphic techniques would, in future photographic missions, be expected to enhance the amount of data available for study in oceanography, as well as geology, agriculture, and forestry.  A more detailed study of the photography should indicate geographic areas of interest for further study by other techniques.

            Future photographic missions would be expected to yield more data for earth resources studies if fuel could be extended to orient the space vehicle for vertical photography and if a team of scientists were consulted in the determination of areas to be photographed.  A greater array of photographic equipment could be expected to yield a greater amount of data.










V.                  GEOLOGY


By Paul D. Lowman

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Greenbelt, Maryland





      Of the more than 500 photographs obtained during  the Apollo 7 mission, approximately 200 are usable for the purposes of this experiment.  In particular, a few near-vertical, high-sun-angle photographs of  Baja California, other parts of Mexico and portions of the Middle East will be useful for geologic studies than those obtained on previous missions.  The first extensive photographic coverage of northern Chile, Australia, and several other areas were obtained.  A number of areas of oceanographic interest, particularly islands in the Pacific Ocean, were photographed for the first time.  The objective of comparing color with back and white photography of the same areas was not successful because of problems with focus, exposure and filters.


      A hand-held, modified 70-mm Hasselblad 500C camera with an 80-mm focal-length lens was used for this photography experiment.  Type SO-121 film was used for the synoptic weather and terrain experiments, and type SO-368 film was used for both the operational and the experiment photography.  A type 2A filter was used with all but one of the magazines containing type SO-121 film, and no filter was used with type SO-368 film.


      In general, the color and exposure quality of the pictures on type SO-368 film was excellent.  Some problems were encountered in exposing type SO-121 film, and many frames were either underexposed or overexposed.  The need to hurriedly change the film magazines, filters, and exposure settings when a target came into view probably accounts for the improper exposure of many frames.  Another factor contributing to underexposure was the use of a 1° field-of –view spotmeter to determine exposure settings of the camera which has a field of view of approximately 52°.  By using corrective photographic processing techniques, many of the exposure problems can be corrected.


      Sharpness ranged from fair to excellent on both films, with steadiness in holding the camera a probable factor in those frames containing blurred images. Swells on the sea surface were resolved on both films.


      Subsequent paragraphs describe regional areas and problems which are now under study by using the Apollo 7 photographs, as well as Gemini and Apollo 6 photography.


1.       Geologic mapping of Baja California:  Apollo 7 photography of this area in Mexico (fig. V-1) is considered, for geologic studies, superior in several ways to Gemini an Apollo 6 photography.  The higher sun angle on the Apollo 7 imagery appears low enough to prevent “washout” and still retain an adequate shadow pattern from the topography which is necessary for geologic structural mapping.

2.       Structural geology of the Middle East:  Several of the Apollo 7 photographs were taken over areas in the Middle East previously photographed during the Gemini flights.  For the purpose of regional mapping, the Apollo 7 photography (fig. V-2) again shows the wealth of detail that can be observed of the topographic and geologic features.

3.       Origin of the Carolina bays, United States: A number of elliptical bays can be observed on the Apollo 7 photography in southeast Brazil and in Louisiana (fig. V-3). Comparisons of these bays with the Carolina bays add further knowledge regarding the origin of the striking features, suggesting they were not formed by the impact of meteorites but by terrestrial processes.

4.       Wind erosion in desert regions:  The Apollo 7 photography complements the Gemini photography in large arid regions affected by natural forces (fig. V-4).  Extensive areas of abraded rock knobs and ridges, sculptured and formed by wind containing the erosion agents, and areas of great sand plains and dunes can be further studied o the Apollo 7 photography to determine the actual importance and character of wind erosion in desert regions.

5.       Coastal morphology:  Apollo 7 photography covers a number of new shorelines and coastal features not previously photographed from space (fig. V-5), as well as several areas previously shown on the Gemini and Apollo 6 photographs.  Studies will be made of changes in shorelines, river deltas, and submarine topography, by comparing space photographs with maps, charts, and hydrologic information currently available.

6.       Rift valley tectonics:  Photography taken at different oblique views, altitudes, and sun angles of the highlands bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba reveal structural conditions that may help determine the origin of the African rift valleys (fig. V-6).  Preliminary study reveals no evidence of lateral displacement along the Dead Sea rift.


VI.               GEOLOGY


By Malcolm M. Clark

U.S. Geological Survey

Menlo Park, California





      This report summarizes the findings after Apollo 7 photographs were viewed on November 14 and 15, 1968.  This report includes the following:


1.       Image quality evaluation

2.       Comparison and relationship of Apollo 7 photography to Gemini and previous Apollo photography

3.       Potential uses of the photography in meteorology and the earth resources disciplines

4.       Preliminary plans from user agencies, Goddard Space Flight Center, and investigators regarding subsequent exploitation of the photography

5.       Recommendations by screening team members for future photographic missions.

Many of the Apollo 7 photographs are vivid and of generally excellent quality.  Nearly all the views are oblique rather than vertical and show some parts of the earth not previously photographed from space, as well as areas recorded during Gemini missions and the Apollo 6 mission.  Among the Apollo 7 photographs are some of exceptional beauty, including new views of the Andes and Himalayas that contain vast amounts of topographic information.  This report, however, will deal mainly with photographs of Baja California, because the author recently completed a geologic interpretation of Apollo 6 photographs of that area.

            Image quality is generally excellent.  Quality of the pictures from type SO-121 film is comparable to that of Apollo 6 photographs. The type 368 film is closer in color balance and contrast to that of the Gemini photographs.  For geologic work, Apollo 6 photographs are superior to those from Apollo 7 because they are vertical and have stereographic overlap.

            Oblique photographs are beautiful, dramatic and exciting, but they almost never show surface features better than do vertical photographs of comparable scale and of the same terrain.  Oblique photographs tend to obscure or distort the true shape of surface features and are usually not as clear(because of the long light path through the atmosphere) as verticals.  The main use of obliques should be given an introductory view of an area during an explanation or exposition.  In the author’s experience with many high-and low altitude oblique photographs (9-inch format), these generalizations have been verified.

            Stereophotography gives obvious benefits demonstrated by Apollo 6 photographs. Even though the low sun angle in Apollo 6 photographs of Baja California serves to emphasize topography, the addition of stereophotography in these photographs removes ambiguity or uncertainty about the amount and kind of topographic expression of many features.  The third dimension is an important part of any attempt to define geologic relations from aerial photographs.

            In geologic utility, Apollo 7 photographs are in general closer to Gemini photographs than to Apollo 6 photographs.  As with the Gemini photographs, Apollo 7 photographs are abundant, oblique, and mostly nonstereographic.  Apollo 7 color photographs(except for those from type 368 film) are better than Gemini photographs as a result of the improved definition and color contrast of the SO-121 film.  Some examples of comparison with Apollo 6 and Gemini photographs in the Baja California area follow (based on 8- by 8- inch paper enlargements of all photographs).

1.       Frame AS7-1795 (sun angle 41°, south source, Apollo 7)  and frame AS6-1433 (sun angle 20 °, east source, Apollo 6): The scales of these two photographs are nearly the same.  Frame AS7-1795 is generally sharper and shows better color contrast, although both photographs appear to be slightly underexposed.  Areas in frameAS7-1795 that are defined by circular joints or faults have a distinct color contrast with surrounding areas.  However, in frame AS6-1433, the color contrast is nearly indiscernible.  The low illumination angle in frame AS6-1433, is a probable reason for its lower color contrast.  Visibility of topography (and often structure or lithology) strongly depends on the direction of sunlight, as can be seen on these photographs.  The Agua Blanca fault (upper half of both photographs) is more prominent in frame AS7-1795 because illumination is nearly perpendicular to the fault.  In frame AS6-1433, the sunrays are nearly parallel to the fault, hence virtually no part of the fault shows as a bright or dark line as is shown in frame AS7-1795.  Many north-south lineaments evident on frame AS6-1433 are not evident on frame AS7-1795 (north-south fractures crossing circular feature in the right center of both photographs).  In contrast, small east-west lineaments on frame AS7-1795 do not appear on frame AS6-1433 (center of frame AS7-1795).

2.       Frame AS7-1629 (sun angle 52°, overlaps the south half of frames AS6-1433, AS6-1434, and AS7-1795):  High sun angle results in poor definition of topography in frame AS7-1629 when compared to frames AS6-1433, AS6-1434, or AS7-1795.  Color contrast is far better in frame AS7-1629, possibly because of improved exposure in addition to higher sun.  One prominent lineation (north-south,  east of center of peninsula) is defined by color contrast.

3.       Frame AS7-1578 ( type 368 film, sun angle 46 °, oblique, overlaps all of the other photographs):  Color is bluer and of less contrast than in SO-121 photographs (Apollo 6 and 7).  Color appears to be closer to that in Gemini frame S-65-34672 (northern Baja California.  Even though it s an oblique photograph, the small scale reveals a faint extension of the lineament in frame AS7-1629 into the area of frames AS6-1433 and AS7-1795 on which the lineament is not evident. 


Recommendations for characteristics of future photography are as follows:

(1)    mostly vertical photographs, (2) stereophotgraphic overlap, (3) SO-121 color, and (4) several low (less than 30 °) sun angles over the same target (sun azimuth angles differing by perhaps 45 ° to 90°).

Orbital photographs are useful in geology because they reveal features of such extent, subtlety, or discontinuity that the features become evident only at the small scales obtainable from orbit.  Apollo 7 photographs make a useful addition to the supply.


The photographs described will be used by the author for a brief report on their geologic utility.  In addition to Gemini and Apollo 6 photographs, photographs from Apollo 7 will be used by Warren Hamilton in studies of regional tectonics.

































VII.           GEOLOGY

By Stephen J. Gawarecki

U.S. Geological Survey

Washington, D.C.



            The Apollo 7 70-mm photography and supporting airborne photography of various formats were briefly examined at MSC on November 14 and 15, 1968, by Malcolm M. Clark and Stephen J. Gawarecki of Geological Division, USGS.  The purpose of this preliminary scientific report by MSC personnel on Apollo 7 photography.

            Specific functions for the Science Screening Team were as follows:

1.       Image quality evaluation

2.       Comparison and relationship of Apollo 7 photography to Gemini and previous Apollo photography

3.       Potential uses of the photography in meteorology and the earth resources disciplines

4.       Preliminary plans for user agencies, Goddard Space Flight Center, and investigators regarding subsequent exploitation of the photography

5.       Recommendations by screening team members for future photographic missions

                                                Orbital Photography

The orbital photography was obtained as an adjunct to investigations primarily oriented to spacecraft procedures.  As a result, the astronauts were somewhat hampered in obtaining good results.  Of the approximately 500 frames of film types 368 and SO-121 color photography, only about 40 percent were deemed useful for earth science investigations.  Very few were verticals, most were low obliques, and many were high obliques.  The best photographs for geological purposes were the vertical photographs.  Among the other deficiencies noted on the photography were gross underexposure and overexposure, incorrect focus, and lack of stereophotographic coverage. 

            The type 368 film was superior to type SO-121 film in color contrast and fidelity.  The latter film had an overpowering red saturation that masked most color differences in the terrain.  An objective comparison of resolution between the two film types was not possible because altitudes were not known and similar areas were not photographed under standard conditions.

            The best available comparison of Apollo 7 with Apollo 6 and Gemini IV photography is the Baja California area where duplicate coverage is found.  The higher sun angle on Apollo 7  at this location provides better color contrast and saturation than Apollo 6, but Apollo 6 with its lower sun angle (about 20 °) provides better drainage and topographic definition which consequently shows superior lineament definition.  The Gemini IV photography of the area was obtained at a high sun angle; but it has slightly less resolution, poor color contrast, and excessive blue coloration.  It is of interest that a change in a playa shape has occurred in an area immediately west of the Colorado Delta in the intervening time between the Gemini IV an Apollo 6 photography.  This is one advantage of repetitive photographic coverage with the passage of time.  This area was not covered by Apollo 7 photography, and a further comparison could not be made.

            The additional information on Apollo 7 photographs of the Baja California area has modified some of the preliminary interpretation previously made on Apollo 6 photographs of the geology of the San Pedro Martir Range.  Between the two sets of data, a much better interpretation is possible.  This points to a requirement for multiple photography of various areas at different sun angles for better interpretation results.

            The tentative plans of the USGS for the photography are as follows:

1.       Duplicates of Apollo 7 photography should be distributed to the three headquarters at Washington , D.C.; Denver, Colorado; and Menlo Park, California, for inspection by all interested personnel.

2.       Specific individuals currently funded by NASA will use photography to supplement other orbital photographs being used in their projects.  Included are Roger Morrison, Malcolm Clark, Warren Hamilton, W. Douglas Carter, William Hemphill, and Parke Snavely.  Morrison is concerned with soil mapping, Clark with the San Andreas fault and related features, Hamilton with regional tectonics including sea floor spreading, an Snavely with marine geology.  Carter and Hemphill have a general interest in geological features in South America and West Pakistan, respectively, where both have worked extensively.


                               Suborbital Photography


In support of the Apollo 7 mission, the MSC Convair 240A aircraft flew several flight lines in east and west Texas; in Tucson, Arizona, and the outlying vicinity; and in the Colorado River Delta- using 9-inch format Ektachrome and Ektachrome infrared and 70-mm multiband photography with black and white panchromatic film (25A and 58 filters) and color (type SO-121 film with 2A filter and type 2448 aeroneg film transparency).  The USGS Water Resources aircraft flew the Tucson area simultaneously at higher altitudes – using type 2448 color film.

The MSC-flown data are for the most part excellent with slight overexposure of color infrared film in the Colorado Delta being the main problem.  The black and white panchromatic film was underexposed noticeably.  The USGS color photography was very good, but had a slight vignetting problem.


The availability of the suborbital photography will be made known in the USGS, especially to those concerned with the areas covered.  It is, however, unfortunate that areas in the western United States were not covered by simultaneous orbital photography.



                                          General Comments


The coverage of foreign areas by Apollo photography was very god, but useful coverage of the United States was scarce.  The Apollo 6 Data were superior in United States coverage and are currently being studied for regional structure and mineralization relationships.


The comparison between Apollo 6 and Apollo 7 photography in the Baja California region shows the value of multiple exposures at different sun angles.  Vertical photographs and stereophotographic coverage are required for best results.



Recommendations for future photographic missions are that the specifications mentioned previously should be applied and that synoptic coverage of the entire United States should be obtained with conventional color such as type 368 film or type 2448 aeroneg film and also with color infrared film type 8443.






















By Bruno E. Sabels

Bellcomm, Inc.

Washington, D.C.


            The best Apollo 7 photographs appear equal or superior to Apollo 6 photographs in image quality.  However, there is considerable variation in the image quality as compared to the Apollo 6 coverage, and overall, the image quality is inferior to the automatic Apollo 6 photographs.


            The Apollo 7 photographs relate more to Gemini than to Apollo 6 photography because of the random picture-taking of targets of opportunity in those missions.  The photographs benefit to some extent from oblique orientation, but they also suffer from it.  Ideally, both target-of-opportunity photography (Gemini and Apollo 7) and nadir photography with an automated, bracket-mounted camera (Apollo 6) should be considered for future missions using two cameras.


            If taken with the proper exposure and under known conditions, both nadir and oblique photography will have unlimited uses in earth resources studies.  This is demonstrated by a large number of photographs from both Apollo 6 and Apollo 7 flights.


            The following are the preliminary uses of photography for subsequent exploitation:

1.       Outstanding tectonic features and their application as guides to ore

2.       Volcanic features such as craters and lava flows which stand out; impact (meteoritic) versus collapse phenomena

3.       Sedimentology in flat-lying areas, erosion, deposition

4.       Shorelines and fossil terraces

5.       Shipping channels in shallow areas

6.       Correction of maps and navigational aids in remote areas of the world

7.       Rock types in arid areas; potential development for reservoirs, agriculture and recreation

8.       Testing of geological hypotheses in specific areas

9.       Updating records

10.   Improvement of local investigations by use of the “big picture”




The following are the recommendations for photography in future missions:


1.      Longer, more extensive planning period


2.      More intensive briefing and training of astronauts


3.      Photographic coverage both by bracketed and hand-held cameras

4.      Simplification of film and filter requests


5.      Effort to have clean windows for photography


6.      More systematic coverage of areas, independent of astronaut workload


7.      Notification of earth resources team members in real-time mission planning in Mission Control












IX.               GEOLOGY


By David L. Amsbury

NASA Manned Spacecraft Center

Houston, Texas






      Excellent photography of part of the Portrillo volcanic field and the Franklin Mountains, near El Paso, was obtained on Mission 981.  Four different color films (Eastman Kodak type 2448, type SO-121, type 8442, and type 84430 were used.  Black and white film (type 3400) with a 25A filter and a 58 filter was also used.  Apollo 7 photographic coverage of this area is marginal, but the vertical stereophotographic coverage during Apollo 6 flight is very good.  Several different aircraft films will be compared with each other and with the spacecraft photography, to study effects of film type, scale and resolution on geologic applications.  A few days of ground checking will be necessary to obtain further information.





























X.                 OCEANOGRAPHY

By I. D. Browne

NASA Manned Spacecraft Center

Houston, Texas

James B. Zaitzeff

U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office

NASA Manned Spacecraft Center

Houston, Texas

Victor E. Noble

U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office

Washington D. C.

Don Ross

Philco – Ford

Palo Alto, California

Jack Paris

Texas A & M University

College Station, Texas

            Image quality evaluation aspects are as follows:

1.       Poor exposure control is evidenced.

2.       Window haze degraded image resolution.

3.       Graininess and striations of film restrict quality of planned photometric analysis.

4.       Preliminary analysis of Apollo 7 photography shows fairly good water penetration.

The following comments compare and relate Apollo 7 photography to that of Gemini and previous Apollo missions.

1.       Large number of oblique photographs of Apollo 7 photography are, in general, unfavorable for oceanographic purposes.  Apollo 6 photography has more nadir photographs.

2.       Improvement of atmospheric haze penetration in Apollo 7 photography exists when compared with Gemini photography.

3.       There is a lack of photography over open-ocean areas during the Apollo 7 mission.  Apollo 6 photography has more open-ocean coverage.

4.       Apollo 7 photography shows better water penetration than Apollo 6 photography.

5.       The repetition of photographs over certain targets, such as the Gulf of California, improves the chance of obtaining useful data.  This affords the opportunity to view specific areas under different camera angles, different sun angles, and different atmospheric conditions, and provides a record of dynamic feature changes.  For example, repetitive coverage of the Gulf of California shows surface patterns in the Gulf enhanced by the glitter of the sun, which were not initially evident in previous nonglint pictures.

Potential uses of the photography n meteorology and the earth resources disciplines are as follows:

1.       Study of coastal processes; that is river outflow, sediment transport and distribution, and wave interference and refraction patterns.

2.       Indications of subsurface topography and bathymetry

3.       Mapping and charting purposes (using nadir photographs)

4.       Study of surface roughness differences indicated by sun-glitter patterns; that is, swell-wavelength/direction, sea state, circulatory patterns, and current boundaries.

5.       Study of air and sea interactions by correlation of low-level cloud patterns to ocean features.

6.       Possible color differences giving indications of phytoplankton concentrations and upwelled areas, which are of value to fisheries prediction.

Preliminary plans from user agencies, Goddard Space Flight Center, and investigators for subsequent exploitation of the photography include the following:

1.       Color separation studies for assessment of water depth, enhancement of bottom detail, and discrimination of surface effects (Philco-Ford)

2.       Correlation of cloud patterns in the Gulf of Mexico to meteorological and oceanographic reports from ships (Texas A & M University)

3.       Correlation of photography to fisheries predictions, Bureau of Commercial Fisheries (BCF)

4.       Evaluation of Fourier optical analysis for swell and wave refraction studies (University of Michigan, NAVOCEANO)

5.       Comparison of Gemini and Apollo photography of same areas to determine effects of illumination conditions, camera angle, and sun angle to aid in defining optimum parameters for oceanographic photography

Screening team members have given the following recommendations for future photographic missions.

1.       For future oceanographic space photography experiments to provide more meaningful data, rather than a review, of previous interpretations necessitating qualifications or assumptions, it is imperative that photographic requirements come from the oceanographic coordinating agency and that experiments should be planned well in advance over specific test sites.  The oceanographic community could be organized to provide adequate surface support data to these photographic missions, such as that implemented by the BCF during the Apollo 7 mission.  Although it is recognized that all photographic areas cannot have ground truth, the photographs should cover areas which have features of oceanographic interest.

2.       Future photographic missions need to be related to such oceanographic problems as water mass differentiation, current detection, bathymetry, sea and swell conditions and biological phenomena.

3.       Existing remote-sensing aircraft should continue to be used in spacecraft photographic missions for concurrent data collection.

4.       Correction in graininess and striation of film would be desirable, if these characteristics can be attributed to film processing.

                                              XI.       HYDROLOGY

By Daniel G. Anderson

U.S. Geological survey

Washington, D.C.


            The use of the Apollo 7 photographs of earth as applied to water resources (hydrologic)studies is discussed in this section.  What may be a problem to the hydrologist may be the essence of another scientist’s study.  For example, clouds interfere with a view of the surface of the earth, but clouds are important to a meteorologist.  Other problems noted on the photographs are sunglint (reflection from the water surface) and obvious errors in exposure.  The oblique views are of negligible value for interpretative purposes.  The photographs are comparable to the Gemini photographs, probably because hand-held Hasselblad camera were also used on those missions.  The Apollo 7 photographs are a valuable addition to the Earth Resources Program because they fill in several new areas and offer an opportunity for comparison with previous

Gemini photographs.

            The photographs show synoptic coverage over broad areas that, at a glance, can provide qualitative information about drainage basin characteristics.  For example, it may be possible to discriminate between dry and humid climates or between mountainous and relatively flat drainage systems.  One can also learn something about how the land is used; for example, urban areas, farms, forests, and barren areas might be identified.  Land use is important to the hydrologist because runoff characteristics from these areas may be somewhat different as to quantity and time of flow.

            The angle of the sun is also important to the hydrologist because of solar reflection from the water surface.  Several Apollo 7 photographs were adversely affected by this reflection.  The reflection can be reduced to a minimum if the photographs are taken in the early morning or late afternoon when the light is still sufficient for proper exposure.

            The aircraft photography taken by the USGS at fairly high altitude and by NASA at moderate altitude was of excellent quality and suitable for interpretation and study.  Unfortunately, negligible simultaneous space photography is available for the same area; however, previous space photography may prove to be a useful substitute.  The photography of mission 981 (aircraft) for Test Sites 145 and 146 was of very poor quality, probably because of adverse weather, as was the space photography of Florida.  It would appear to be valuable in the future to have simultaneous photography from space, high altitudes, low altitudes, and ground control at selected sites.

            In summary, the Apollo 7 photography will be useful, although many of the frames were of poor quality because of improper exposure, sunglint, oblique views, limited coverage of the United States, and other problems.































XI.               HYDROLOGY

     By Curtis C. Mason

NASA Manned Spacecraft Center

Houston, Texas


            The Apollo 7  photography will be useful for three general purposes.


1.       General descriptive hydrology of river basins, lakes, irrigated land uses, et cetera

2.       Qualitative analysis of bottom topography and sediment transport using the more oblique photographs taken near sunglint areas

3.       Semiquantitative measurements of bottom topography and sediment transport using the near-vertical photography in which sunglint is not too close to the area of interest.

The following are examples of photographs useful for general descriptive hydrology:

1.       Frame AS7-5-1650, Bahia de Petacalco

2.       Frame AS7-6-1675, Mouth of Ganges River and Bay of Bengal

3.       Frame AS7-6-1680, Hlaing River, Burma

4.       Frame AS7-6-1718, Blue and White Nile below Khartoum

5.       Frame AS7-7-1758, Lake Tseling Tsho and Nangtsong Tsho, China

The following are examples of photographs useful for qualitative analysis of bottom topography and sediment transport:

1.       Frame AS7-6-1675, Mouth of Ganges River

2.       Frame AS7-6-1721, Texas Gulf Coast from Beaumont to Corpus Christi

3.       Frame AS7-7-1756, East China Sea with Yantze and Shang-Hai, Hang Chow Bay

4.       Frame AS7-7-1843, Gulf of Carpentaria, Morio Island and Lemmin Bight River, Australia

5.       Frame AS7-8-1896, Great Bahama Bank, Caicas Islands

The following are examples of photographs that could be analyzed for semiquantitative

Data of sediment content and bottom topography:

1.       Frame AS7-5-1650, Bahia de Petacalco, Mexico

2.       Frame AS7-6-1723, Georgia Coast

3.       Frame AS7-8-1913, Coast of Beria, Mozambique

4.       Frame AS7-8-1918, Coast near Mobile, Alabama

5.       Frame AS7-11-2025, Gulf of California

By providing a stereographic view of the area, the aircraft photography of the Gulf of California and the mouth of the Colorado River will be useful to distinguishing color differences because of bottom topography and color differences which are due to sediment content.

       No measurements were made of image quality; however, the image quality is estimated to be about the same as that of the Gemini photographs.  Comparison of the Gemini IV, Apollo 6 and Apollo 7 photography of the mouth of the Colorado River should give an interesting example of the changes in a delta system.  Apollo 6 and Apollo 7 photography of the Georgia Coast should give a check on the repeatability of obtaining bottom topography by using negative density techniques; the same is true of the Gulf of California.




            Near-vertical photography would be more useful than oblique views for obtaining quantitative data, and some higher resolution photography would aid in determining what optimum space photography resolution for various purposes should be.

                                                   XII.  AGRICULTURE

By Victor I. Myers*

Remote Sensing Institute

South Dakota State University

Brookings, South Dakota


A brief evaluation of Apollo 7 photography and related photography was made at the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center on November 14 and 15, 1968.  As requested by MSC, items pertaining to the imagery and to future planning are discussed as follows:

1.       Image quality:  The imagery is of high quality, considering equipment and mission limitations imposed in the planning stages.  Detail that can be detected on imagery is generally better in arid regions than in those areas subject to haze, air pollution, and so forth.  Resolution, although not determined by the attenuation is negligible, the 250-foot resolution would probably permit certain evaluations shown in Table XIII-I.  Where attenuation is a problem, the photography is degraded to the point where many of the possible applications listed in Table XIII-I would not be possible.  (The attenuation problem can be easily overcome and is discussed in the section on recommendations)

2.       Contrasting illumination:  Much of the imagery (that taken near the northern and      southernmost limits of the orbits) shows contrasting albedo across each photograph, because of the low seasonal sun angle.  Thus, the illumination increases across each photograph from south to north.  Also, photograph illumination varies with daily sun angle resulting in brightest areas on the side of the photography away from the sun.  These contrasts in densities on transparencies often result in greater density contrasts across a single frame than those caused by natural reflectance contrasts of vegetation, soils, and other objects.  The obvious conclusion here is that photographs should be taken at the time of the highest sun angle.

3.       Film-filter combinations:  As pointed out in the initial briefing by NASA, the most obvious problem occurred when the astronauts did not use the correct filter.  This is a logistics problem which can be overcome by having separate cameras for each film-filter combination.  Other films should be included experimentally in the program(see recommendations).

4.       Contrasts in albedo:  Heavily forested areas have and albedo (ration of reflected to incoming radiation) of approximately 8 to 10 percent.  Agricultural plants and soils have an albedo that may vary from 15 to 35 percent.  Therefore, correct camera exposures for agricultural areas are usually not adequate for forested areas. 

5.       Consideration should be given to changing camera exposure over forested areas whenever possible.


                                     APOLLO PHOTOGRAPHY

            Where  direct comparisons of Apollo 7 imagery can be made with Apollo 6 and Gemini imagery, the quality seems comparable.  Differences in quality are generally attributed to uncontrollable conditions.  Refer to table XIII-I for potential applications and estimated feasibility of each application at two resolutions (1) that of current Apollo photography, and (2) recommended photography with a resolution of approximately 75 feet.




            Included in the preliminary plans for exploitation of photography are the following studies.

1.       Microdensitometry studies will be made with color filters to determine detail that can be extracted from Apollo imagery.

2.      Two agricultural research service research watersheds (Tombstone, Arizona, and Washita River Basin in Oklahoma) are covered by Apollo imagery.  Detailed data on plants and soils have been collected from these watersheds, and these data will be correlated with Apollo imagery.

3.       Ground truth from the irrigated Imperial Valley of California will be correlated with Apollo imagery.  The ground truth  is that information which is related to soils, salinity, and high water tables.  These data will be the responsibility of engineers and scientists stationed at the Agricultural Research Service Field Station at Brawley, California.



The following recommendations are made for the photography of future missions.

1.       To overcome problems of atmospheric attenuation in areas such as the eastern United States, a light yellow filter (No. 12 or slightly lighter) should be used to provide ground detail that is not apparent in many cases with present Apollo photography.

2.      Ektachrome infrared photography should be used for vegetative and soils discrimination and for haze penetration.

3.       A battery of four camera should be secured in position, and separate cameras should be used for different film-filter combinations wherever possible.

4.       Different film-filter settings should be used for large, relatively uniform areas of contrasting albedo.

5.       The huge investment that NASA has made in fundamental earth resources sites, such as Site No. 32, Weslaco, Texas, could be used for space photography ground truth by making a special effort to schedule Apollo coverage of these sites.  Also, there are many other experimental research areas where extensive ground data are available, in the areas of Apollo coverage, which could be scheduled for photographic coverage.

6.       If scheduling of Apollo photography could be correlated with user groups, local photography could be obtained to enhance the interpretation process.

7.       For earth resources studies, cameras with a longer focal length should be used to give improved resolution.







250 ft

75 ft




Snow cover

Soil Survey  



Crop acreage

Soil Salinity



Disease and insects

Soil moisture (qualitative)

Crop production before harvest

Land use interface







Canal (special cases)

Irrigation management

Locate ground water (special cases)
















































   Recognition of the features  is indicated as follows:  C- clearly feasible, P- probably feasible, Q- questionable, N- nonfeasible.


    To the nearest several acres.


     To nearest acre.


By Robert N. Colwell

University of California

Berkeley, California


            Evaluation of the Apollo 7 photography is based upon the following:

1.       An examination of all color photography obtained on that mission using an Itek viewer

2.       An examination of selected frames when projected as lantern slides onto a screen

3.       An examination of these same exposures in opaque, 8-by 8 inch positive print form

4.       An examination of contact-size duplicate color transparencies, under magnification, over a light table

The selected frames were mostly from the Tucson area, the Salton Sea area, and the Alice Springs, Australia, area.

1.       Image quality evaluation:  The best of this Apollo 7 photography is of a quality providing approximately 200-foot ground resolution.  Linear features such as roads and streams that are no more than 50 to 75 feet wide frequently can be resolved.  However, many frames are either out of focus or degraded by reflections from the spacecraft window.  Even under optimum ground lighting conditions, some areas (e.g., Alice Springs, Australia) appear to be badly underexposed.  Cloud cover obscures several areas of interest to the earth resources investigators; approximately to the same extent as in previous Gemini and Apollo missions.  Despite these limitations, some of the Apollo 7 photographs are among the best ever taken from Space.  Specific examples are as follows:

a.        The photograph covering parts of Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina (according to the author’s notes, it is frame AS7-4-1593) is the most colorful space photograph ever seen by the author and gives almost perfect color fidelity.

b.       The photographs covering the Orinoco River (frame AS7-5-1643) and the Mississippi River to New Orleans area (frames AS7-8-1916, AS7-8-1917, and AS7-1918) give the best penetration, through presumably humid atmosphere, ever seen by the author on any space photography.

2.       Comparison and relationship to Gemini and previous Apollo photography:

When compared with Apollo 6 photography, the Apollo 7 photography has a less reddish cast; consequently, vegetation differences, which rely on differences in the green (or blue) part of the spectrum, are better seen in Apollo 7 photographs.  However, differences between red soils and their surroundings are more pronounced on the Apollo 7 photographs.

            More oblique photographs are included in Apollo 7 photography, and some frames show amazing detail even at tremendous distances.  For example, frames AS7-11-2022 and AS7-11-2023 show areas far into the San Joaquin Valley of California and far up the Colorado River (much farther north than any previous Gemini or Apollo photographs), and frame AS7-11-2024 shows Wilcox Dry Lake and soil boundaries near Tucson with almost unbelievable clarity and color fidelity from a distance of several hundred miles.

3.       Potential uses of the photography in the Earth Resources disciplines:  Agriculture crops in most of the areas photographed are not photogenic in mid-October when this mission was flown.  Nevertheless, field outlines are very clearly seen (e.g., in the Imperial Valley area, frame AS7-11-22023).  Agriculture land can scarcely be differentiated from urban and wildland areas in Japan and Okinawa (frames AS7-11-1983 to AS7-11-1985 and AS7-7-1831, respectively) even though only mild overcast conditions existed at the time of photography.  However, the most minute field patterns ever seen by the author in moderately humid areas (e.g., Louisiana and Mississippi) are seen on frames AS7-8-1916 and AS7-8-1917.

In the Tucson area it is possible to differentiate brushlands, timberlands, and grasslands fairly well and even to distinguish hardwood from coniferous (very dark blue) timber stands in some areas (e.g., frame AS7-3-1532).


Snowlines are clearly seen in the Himalayas (frames AS7-11-1918 and AS7-11-1982), and the best example of “rain shadow” causing arid regions on one side of a mountain range and dense vegetation on the other (wetter) is seen in frame AS7-11-1979.


4.       Preliminary plans to use this photography:  Within 1 week after completion of the Apollo 7 mission, it was learned where space photography had been obtained in the Tucson area.  On a low-altitude flight (1000 to 2000 feet), approximately 400 35-mm color photographs were taken (consisting of matches pairs of Ektachrome and infrared Ektachrome, using a special –camera assembly).  By this means, ground truth was of this area was ground checked, and ground checking is continuing.

This intensive study, mainly in the area south and east of Tucson, will continue during the next several weeks and prior to the SO-65 (Multiband Space Photography Experiment) now scheduled for March or April, 1969.

5.  Recommendations for future missions:  Astronauts should be requested to follow photography instructions more closely in terms of exposure, filters, focus, and geographic areas to photograph (e.g., adequate photographs of Wilcox Dry Lake, Arizona,  a prime target, were not obtained).  In addition, the excellent cooperation between science screening personnel and NASAQ MAC Earth Resources personnel should be continued.

                               XV.   RANGE RESOURCES

By Charles E. Poulton

Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon


            Considering limitations imposed by other objectives of the Apollo 7 mission, the photographic phases can be considered reasonably successful.  Many of the photographs are of excellent quality.  With the excellent planning and coordination that went into the supporting aircraft program, it was extremely disappointing that it was not possible to obtain near-vertical space photographs over the Tucson Test Site.  One high oblique and two low oblique photographs covering part or all of the test site will have some usefulness.  Because of the orbital problem on the target date, however, most critical work will be with Apollo 6 and Gemini photographs.

            All the supporting RC-8 aircraft photography is outstandingly good and will be extremely useful.  The flightcrew and the USGS pilot are to be commended for accurate overflight of designated lines.  The quality of the USGS photographs is pleasing and arrangements for USGS were made to do the small-scale photography as requested.  This photography will be used in the interpretation and mapping from all available space photographs.

            The Hasselblad photography is usable as subsampling photography.  Only two deficiencies were noted.  Exposure is incorrect on the type 3400 Wratten 58 filter, and it is hoped that the duplicates can be matched to the type 3400 Wratten 25A filter so that color enhancement of the two can be done where needed.  Magazines were running backward so that each frame will have to be cut and switched in position.


            The relative merits of the photography are being considered for practical and useful vegetation resources application.  The interpretability of soil surface features is also being compared.  Since the Apollo 7 prints of the Tucson test area show less red, they are better than Apollo 6 prints for vegetation interpretation.  Apollo 6 photography is generally inferior to Gemini IV photography for interpretation of most vegetation features and for many soil surface features.  Apollo 7 frames AS7-3-1531 and AS7-3-1532 will be useful for additional comparisons.  The high oblique view of frame AS7-11-2024 detracts from its value for mapping; however, it will be useful for evaluation of relationships between the on-line distance and the interpretability of vegetation and related resource features.


            Apollo 7 photography has a number of worthwhile uses in earth resources studies in addition to the use previously mentioned.  One of the great needs in the program is to train young university people, potential professors and potential users in the natural science resources community.  In the uses, interpretation, and limitations of space photography as a tool for providing information.  Several Apollo 7 frames were noted which, if made available to university departments substantially involved in remote sensing, would be extremely useful as teaching aids n courses on remote sensing of earth resources.  As universities conduct short courses to update the training of professionals in resource management, availability of these aids would be recognized as a benefit to the Earth Resources Program of NASA.

The type SO-121 film is exceptionally good for mapping of landforms, and the frames can be interpreted by a well-trained ecologist for information of value in resource ecology and in land use and development.  Apollo 7 photography is superior to Gemini photography in this regard but, because of the lack of stereographic coverage, is decidedly inferior to Apollo 6 photography.


An important benefit from space photography of present resolution and quality is in the development of vegetation and soil resource maps, especially for broad policy and planning.  This use is particularly appropriate to the needs of county, stat and national planning commissions and groups.  Photography with the technological quality of Apollo 6 could hardly be excelled as a map base upon which to assemble natural resource information.  Vegetation resource interpreters can learn to obtain useful information from these photographs, but interpreters need to be well trained in resource ecology and soils.  The greatest deficiency in the program may be in the availability of scientists with the field or ground truth experience to do the interpretation.


Another use is broad area, or subregional, stratification as the first step in resource studies.  Given a problem and an objective, the study of space photography will permit competent resource people to decide where to concentrate their attention.  The selected areas may then be studied by more critical analysis of the space photography, by aerial photograph subsampling, or by ground study to achieve the information objectives.  Incorporation of space photography into resource programs could save many scientist man-hours (even years) of time.


An advantage of space photography is the opportunity for sequential coverage.  Comparisons of Gemini IV, Apollo 6, and Apollo 7 photography indicate that sequences of photography permit judgments about the relative amount of range resource use over time, as the images indifferent fenced management units change with forage production and utilization.  Snowlines detected in Apollo 6 and 7 photographs indicate that water storage and release in hill and mountain regions could be observed by sequential space photography.  Stereophotographic coverage and photogrammetric measurement should make possible the development of useful quantitative indices.  Space photography would provide the basis for study of whole mountain systems; therefore, a larger number of individually less accurate measurements might actually estimate snow accumulation-and-melt parameters more accurately for large regions than present methods estimate.


The Apollo 7 mission confirms that space photography has its greatest usefulness when obtained in conjunction with carefully planned aerial photography on a subsampling basis.  This is especially true where emphasis is on vegetation and soil resources and on the acquisition of the kinds of information that managers of these resources need.  Without adequate aircraft support in well-planned subsampling, the information provided from space photography is restricted to use in broad area planning and policy determination.  With aircraft and space photography combined, many of the needs of resource development and management could be met.






            Frame AS7-11-2024 will be studied to try to determine relationships between on-line distance and interpretability of vegetation or related resource features.  Because of the higher quality of coverage over the test areas, most of the work will concentrate on Apollo 6 and Gemini coverage.


Studies are needed to determine the effect of manipulation of color saturation and balance of all film types on interpretability.  Since type SO-121 film loses considerable vegetation and soil detail, yet has many other advantages, it would appear that experiments should be made with its processing and reproduction.  These experiments would require direct and very close collaboration between the project and the photographic laboratory at MSC.  It is doubted whether the time or funds exist to undertake this experiment in 1969.


The excellent aircraft photography will be extremely useful in interpretation and use of all of the space photography.  Prints will be put to use as soon as they can be made available.  These aerial photographs are particularly useful (1) in identifying space images, (2) in discovering criteria for separation of similar but ecologically significant Apollo and Gemini images, (3) in explaining patterns and percentages of specific vegetation-soil units or ecosystems that make up the areas circumscribed by a unique space photography image.  To the extent that this latter can be achieved, the information acquired from the interpretation of space photography becomes increasingly useful to the on-the-ground manager.


Comparative mapping and interpretation of the USGS photography is to be done as soon as copies can be made available.  The primary advantage of this work will be to demonstrate some of the advantages of higher resolution obtainable with the KA-58 camera system, as compared to currently available space photography.






It is urged that NASA recognize the excellent collaborative effort in exploiting the full potential of the Tucson Test Site.  The National Aeronautical and Space Administration should designate this test site for first priority attention on any future missions.  Efforts are being coordinated in the area to eliminate duplication in the joint treatment of all vegetation resources-agricultural, and forest.  Soil resources are being given attention as a component of the ecology of the area.  Additional space photography at different seasons of the year would be valuable.  Aero Ektachrome infrared film should be definitely be included on any missions in late July through early September.  Movement is toward involvement of local scientists as informal collaborators on certain phases of the project.  Another attempt is necessary to coordinate similar aircraft photography with a vertical overflight of a space photography mission, including the same film and filter combinations in all vehicles.


The author strongly supports the earth resources group in insisting that no deviation from previous instructions be allowed in film exposure during earth resources photography.  A further recommendation is a 35-mm Nikon or comparable camera for all photographs of the interior of the space vehicle to overcome a problem on the Apollo 7 mission.


When competent manpower can be assigned, all available aircraft photography in the Tucson Test Site should be examined to study the season-of-photography vegetation-interpretability question.  With this background and information that could be assembled from previous work, an experiment should be planned and carried out to determine the optimum season of photography for each of the better film and filter combinations likely to be used in earth resources space photography missions.  These experiments could be done with NASA aircraft as background for more effective performance on future earth resources spacecraft missions.


Because of the importance of the Tucson Test Site and achievements from this area, it is hoped that future photographic missions can be achieved with a fixed-mount camera system and that allowances can be made for enough attitude-control propellant to achieve vertical photography (± 5º) over this target as a minimum.


Time was not available to screen effectively the old photography for scenes having particular value if photographed sequentially.  A small interdisciplinary work group could do this screening.  A special effort should be made on future missions to make these photographs from as nearly the same position and attitude as is feasible.




















                                     XVI.   GEOGRAPHY

By Robert H. Alexander

U.S. Geological Survey

Washington, D.C.

Leonard W. Bowden

University of California

Riverside, California

Duane F. Marble

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

David S. Simonett

University of Kansas

Jack E. Wilson

U.S. Geological Survey

Washington D.C.


            The Apollo 7 images include a small number of images of superior quality, but much less than the number of superior images obtained in Apollo 6.  In photograph comparison (table XVI-I), the frequency distribution of image qualities is compared over the land areas in Apollo 6 and Apollo7.  The basis for the evaluation is that six levels of quality wee discriminated.  Quality category 1, the best for excellent photographs, provides that the photographs be near vertical and free of clouds; they have fine color balance, correct exposure, and sharp clear boundaries.  Photographs of this quality will be valuable in earth resource studies.

            The other categories describe photographs that successively deteriorate in one or more of these characteristics and become progressively more oblique, cloud covered, and degraded in color balance.  The photographs have varying degrees of over-exposure, underexposure and fuzzy boundaries.  Category 5, for example, is notably oblique, is covered a great deal with clouds, has poor color balance, or is grossly overexposed or underexposed.  Such imagery is still usable, but only when and investigation permits acceptance of low-quality photography. Photographs in category 6 are essentially unusable.

            A comparison between Apollo 6 imagery across the southern United States and that obtained from Apollo 7 indicates that the essentially vertical photography with overlapping obtained in Apollo 6 enables much more to be done with the Apollo 6 photography than with the nonoverlapping frames of varying obliquity obtained in Apollo 7.  Both stereoscopy and binocular reinforcement are important and useful as Apollo 6 imagery qualities which are not present in Apollo 7 imagery.

            While it is not possible quantitatively to document the differences between type SO-121 and SO-368 films, the type SO-121 film has available relatively low-exposure latitude.  The type SO-121 film performed superbly well in the Apollo 6 mission when the exposures were predetermined and preset, but performed poorly in Apollo 7.

            A comparison indicates that while man does bring certain types of capability to a photographic mission, an automatic system as used in Apollo 6 has, with careful planning, the potential of achieving very satisfactory results.  A suitable man-machine balance in future missions could involve “hard-mounting” the cameras to point directly down.  The mechanism could be preset so that when the mechanism is manually started, vertical photographs with 60-percent overlap will be obtained until it is manually stopped.  The astronaut would use his judgment in taking photographs to prevent film waste near the terminator and to eliminate excessively cloudy regions.  Man’s ability to make rational judgment would be combined with the advantages of an automatic photographic system.


            Three examples are given which represent “quick-look” interpretations of selected Apollo 6 images of various areas with high geographic interest.  Where possible, direct comparisons are made with comparable Gemini and Apollo 7 imagery with respect to quality, coverage, and scientific data content.  All three areas lie within the continental United States and are active test sites in the Earth Resources Aircraft Program.



                                           New Orleans, Louisiana (Frame AS7-8-1918)


            Frame AS7-8-1918 is of medium quality and covers the entire New Orleans metropolitan region, as well as a significant portion of southwest Mississippi.  Relatively few urban areas were imaged as part of this mission and the New Orleans image is the best of the small group.  Frame AS7-8-1918 lacks excellent quality as a result of the low sun angle (22º) and the predominant blue coloration.


            Examination of frame AS7-8-1918 under high (X24-X32) magnification reveals detail within the city.  This detail represents a significant advance over the Gemini V photography of Tucson, Arizona, or Gemini XII photography of Houston.  Within the city, major open space areas, such as Audubon Park and City Park, can be readily distinguished.  Identification of highways includes nearly all elements of the urban freeway system, as well as major elements of the urban arterial system.  Identification of these linear and aerial elements permits inferences to be made regarding areas of industrial, commercial, and residential land use.  Generally, individual structures are not resolved, with the exception of a large warehouse covering several blocks in the Algiers area.


            The improvement in resolution in frame AS7-8-1918, vis-à-vis previous Gemini photography, is not yet great enough to permit development of a generalized land-use map of adequate accuracy.  However, additional resolution improvements may permit this development.





Imperial Valley, California (Frames AS7-11-2023)

S64-45747, and S65-45748)

            Comparison was made of the Gemini photograph of Imperial Valley portion of Geography Test Site 130 with the Apollo 7 photographs taken 3 years 1 ½ months later.  Ground resolutions were considerably poorer on the Apollo photograph than on the Gemini photographs.  Field patterns (40 acres and larger) and roads, which are clearly identifiable on the Gemini photographs and which are still clear at X48 magnification, are distinguishable only with difficulty on the Apollo imagery.


            The Apollo photographs, however, show the entire irrigated area, including that in Mexico, in a single view.  The Gemini photographs, combined, showed only a portion of the Mexican irrigated region.  Both the United States-Mexico boundary and the marked variations in land-use patterns across the boundary are as distinctly shown on the Apollo photographs as on the Gemini photographs. A longer segment of the boundary is visible on the Apollo photographs.  The ability to determine boundaries and variations in land-use patterns such as these is important in that it indicates that significant cultural differences may readily be delineated on space photographs.


            Without additional information, specific land-use types in individual irrigated fields could not be determined solely from the Apollo 7 photographs.  However, ground truth was available in the form of land-use observations obtained by a team from the University of California, Riverside, during the time of the Apollo 7 mission.  A sample of the ground-truth data, consisting of crop types in fields ranging between Niland and Brawley in the northern portion of the Imperial Valley.  (The largest unit squares visible in the Imperial Valley imagery are 160-acre fields.)  Land-use types present includes cotton, rye, sugar beets, alfalfa, recently plowed ground, and cattle feed lots.


            An attempt to match image tones on the Apollo 7 photograph with land-use type and to locate clearly ground-truth sites on the photograph, was successful only in the case of the largest fields.  Even so, between three and five gross land-use categories (urban, field crops, fallow land, unoccupied land, and tree crops) can be identified on the Apollo 7 photograph of the Salton Sea vicinity, including both the Coachella Valley to the north of the Salton Sea, and the Imperial Valley to the south.


Los Angeles and Vicinity, Coastal Southern California

(Frames AS7-11-2021 and AS7-11-2022)

            Comparison of the Gemini V and Apollo 7 images in the Southern California areas reveals examples of land-use changes in the 3-year period between the two missions.  For example, in the Costa Mesa-Newport Beach area, removal of tree crops (probably citrus) is apparent in an area where urban growth is rapid, and residential and industrial land uses are replacing agricultural land.  Farther inland in the Lake Matthews area, the Apollo 7 image indicates an increase rather than a decrease in agricultural land during the 3-year period.  The increased area of dark tone representing vegetative cover indicates introduction of new tree crops (in this case, citrus) at higher altitudes on land formerly used for grazing, to replace loss in an urban fringe area.  Thus, in these two space photographs, an important dynamic factor in southern California is indicated, namely, the migration of citrus growing from choice lowland sites in the path of urban expansion to less choice upland areas away from th ecity sprawl.  Also in these two views, a regional view of the entire Los Angeles basin and vicinity shows haze and smog patterns in the aerial coverage of the smog.  Comparison with the Gemini view of the same area may possibly indicate mountain ranges, as revealed in the Apollo image, in comparison with the Gemini view taken 3 years earlier at approximately the same season and under similar meteorological conditions).




            The two major areas of use are in urban area analysis and in land use and regional planning.  Examples include a land-use study of the internal structure of New Orleans, and study in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of the transportation network, and a study in Los Angeles of the distribution of smog and density differences within the smog.  In the land-use and regional planning studies, those begun by using previous space photographs will be continued with Apollo 7:  the Imperial Valley and the California Coast by Leonard Bowden; the Mississippi Valley and Alice Springs, Australia, area by David Simonett; and New Orleans by Duane Marble.  Further details are in table XVI-I that shows plans for areas to be studied and the information needed to pursue these studies.  The overriding advantage of Apollo 7 photography is that it will enable time-sequential studies to be made in areas for which high-quality coverage has been obtained in earlier missions.


            Mission 981 obtained photographs over Fort Worth.  This photography will not be directly correlated with the Apollo 7 photograph of that area (which is of marginal quality), but it will be used with the Apollo 6 photographs.  Mission 981 in the ordinary aircraft program obtained synchronous aircraft photography which provides the first opportunity for detailed point-by-point comparisons between spacecraft and aircraft photography in an urban environment (new Orleans).





            Areas that will be studied in detail are given in table XVI-II.  The plans for the study include image enhancement through color separation using the Philco-Ford technique and digitizing of imagery to permit quantitative manipulation of the data.  Detailed and quantitative

(though not necessarily digitally obtained) studies will be carried out on land use, detection of transport networks, small-scale thematic mapping, and change detection.










Technical Recommendations

            Photography should reflect a deliberate optimization for earth resource analysis.


1.      If photography receives a high mission priority, optimization should include mounted rather than hand-held cameras, longer focal length, and 60 percent overlap for specific targets and exposures at or approaching the vertical.  Exposure settings should be fixed prior to launch and should remain unchanged thereafter.  When practical, the previously described restraints should remain; however, two cameras should be used with the preset exposures two full stops apart.


2.  When photographic considerations are secondary, representatives of each discipline (geography, geology, hydrology, agriculture, etc.) should have a preflight opportunity to designate areas to be photographed and to state the priority of photography as the priorities relate to the needs of each discipline.  Final priority designations should remain with MSC.


            3.  Vegetation, its health, distribution, and interfaces are of interest to all earth resource scientists; therefore, it is urgently recommended that Aerial Ektachrome infrared film, in addition to normal color, be used on target areas within the United States unless direct experimentation demonstrates that spaceborne use of this emulsion would be ineffective.


            4.  A return to conventional Aerial Ektachrome infrared film should be seriously investigated.  In preliminary observations it was found that experimentation with other emulsions has not given a notable improvement on Gemini film performance, and in many cases it appears inferior.  A systematic comparison of various areas in the United States will be necessary.


            5.  Film utility increases with improved ground resolution; therefore, it is recommended that a system be used which would produce ground resolutions of approximately 80 feet.



Administrative Recommendations

1.      It is recommended that master duplicate transparencies used for public relations be rolled processed.  However, materials to be used for scientific analysis should be processed on a frame-by-frame basis with processing matched to the investigator’s scientific goal.


2.  Prior to future mission evaluations, investigators should have multiple copies available of plot sheets showing the outer boundaries of photographs obtained on the latest mission and on all previous space flights so that areas of overlap and contiguity can be noted.  As the plot sheets are updated as master indices, they should be re-issued and sent to all investigators.


Recommendations of Future sites and Experiments for Photography


            1.  Coverage of Puerto Rico both with conventional color film and with color infrared film is recommended.  This is the only moist tropical area that is United States territory, with reasonable proximity to the mainland.

2.  It is recommended that MSC invite investigators to submit specific experiments relating to new space photography in order to test one or more of the following:


            a.  The nature and consistency of specific item information gain when using longer focal lengths than the usual Apollo lenses (sites to include, inter alia, Salton Sea, New Orleans, and Dallas-Fort Worth)


                        b.  The nature and consistency of change detection using images of the same area taken on different dates (some photography of this type exists now; however, it was taken of the same areas because of chance circumstances; more pictures of the same area photographed on different dates should be planned).

                        c.  The consistency of boundary and category delineation from photographs taken on successive flights (some photography of this type exists now; however, it was taken of the same areas because of chance circumstances; more pictures of the same area photographed on different dates should be planned)


                        d.  The effect of changing sun angles on information retrieval for areas near the spacecraft high-latitude recurvature zone.

                        e.  The utility of synchronous normal color and color infrared photography


3.  It is recommended that in future missions all investigators be notified before hand of the areas planned for photography.

4.  In future missions, the areas of planned MSC aircraft flights should be coordinated with investigators so that ground truth collection, aircraft flight lines, and spacecraft data my be integrated.




[Excluding blank negatives and water and spacecraft interior pictures]










No. of






of  total


Apollo 6



Apollo 7

No. of












1.  Excellent


2.  Good


3.  Moderate


4.  Poor


5.  Very Poor


6.  Virtually
























































































  Less frames near terminator.





     Place and frame


Aspect to be investigated








New Orleans

Frame AS7-8-1917

















California Coast

Frame S64-45631

Frame AS7-11-2021


























Mississippi Valley

Frame AS7-8-1916











Salton Sea

Frame AS7-11-2023


Frame S65-45748





























    Frame AS7-7-2023

    Frame S66-63034












Dallas-Fort Worth

Frame AS6-2-1462



Frame AS6-7-1863























Frame AS7-11-2032

Frame AS7-7-1863













Frame AS7-3-1539






Alice Springs , Australia

Frame S65-45568

Frame AS7-7-1859







Wilcox Dry Lake

Frame AS6-2-1442


Frame S65-4575













Australia Cape York Peninsula

Frame AS7-8-1902

Frame AS7-8-1845













   The following are the aspects:

                Aspect                                                                   Process

1.        Philco-Ford density separation

2.        Isodensity digitizing and analog plot (slit widths to be individually specified; filters to be specified)

3.        Color transparencies 8 X 8 inches with the color balance adjusted to achieve a truer tone and eliminate excessive blueness(details of manipulation to be specified by the investigator)

4.        Contact transparencies with truer color balance(details to be specified by investigator)

5.        Truer color balance paper prints by various magnifications for portions of frames(details to specified by the investigator.





By Robert Nugent

U.S. Geological Survey

Washington, D.C.






            Image quality evaluation for the scale of the photography image quality varies from

Very poor to excellent; image quality appears to be a random variable.  The type SO-121 film appears to show superior haze penetration.

            In comparison with photographs from Gemini and Apollo 6, the Apollo 7 photographs are similar to Gemini photographs with respect to excessive tilts, lack of stereographic overlap, poor exposures, and poor focus conditions.  For cartographic applications, the Apollo 7 photographs are poorer than the Apollo 6 photographs because of the lack of stereographic coverage, excessive tilts, and a large number of out-of-focus shots.

            The additional coverage afforded by Apollo 7 is of some value for photomosaic preparation, including extending the coverage of photomosaics and photomaps compiled from Gemini and Apollo 6 photography.  Coverage over unmapped areas is valuable to persons interested in these areas. 

            Preliminary plans for exploitation will make use of exposures that are amenable to rectification and enlargement.  Photographs of areas of interest to investigators in earth resources disciplines will be compiled as photomaps on an experimental basis. Areas covered by either Gemini or Apollo6 and Apollo 7 photography will be studied to determine the value of the photography as a means of detecting changes in map-worthy features.  Further studies will be made of the resolution of the photography, using conventional aerial photography for comparison.


            For cartographic applications, it is recommended that a higher resolutions and longer focal-length camera with metric calibration data be used.  The camera should have at least four fiducial marks.  A positive means of holding the film flat during exposure should be provided.  Furthermore, the camera should be calibrated on a state-of-the-art camera calibrator before the flight and immediately after the flight is completed.

            The camera should always be held in a fixed bracket and tilted so that the exposures are within 3º of vertical.  /the exposures should be overlapped approximately 55% so that compilation of detail can be detected by using conventional stereoplotters.

            Variables such as exposure conditions and film-filter combinations should be controlled automatically so a minimum of handling is required in space.  Data regarding camera-operating conditions should be automatically recorded.  Future missions should include color infrared film, as well as type SO-121 film for earth resources studies.



                XVII.  METEOROLOGY

By Kenneth M. Nagler and Stanley D. Soules

Environmental Sciences Services Administration

Washington, D.C.



            Because of general interest and increasing use of operational weather satellite products in meteorology and related fields, attention has been given to the detailed color views of cloud systems and other phenomena that can be obtained from manned orbital space flights.  As in the Gemini Program, the experimenters in the weather photography effort collected ideas from many researchers in meteorology and related environmental sciences to ascertain targets to be photographed.  A list of 27 basic categories, with a number of subcategories, was made available as background information for the crew.  It was recognized that many of the phenomena of which views are desired would not occur in a specific mission period.  Limitations in the amount of film, in the time available for photographic activities, and in fuel for orienting the spacecraft into proper position would preclude getting pictures of many of the interesting meteorological scenes and other scenes related to other sciences.

            A number of significant pictures were obtained which provide new insight into various atmospheric and oceanographic phenomena.  Many of the views will serve as illustrative material for teaching-in general meteorology and in training weather forecasters in the operational use of meteorological satellite pictures.


            Of the approximately 500 70-mm color pictures obtained by the Apollo 7 Crew, approximately 300 photographs show clouds or other items of interest in meteorology, and approximately 8- photographs contained features of interest (table XVIII-I) in oceanography.

            Tropical storms are among the meteorological features for which good color photographs are desired by a number of meteorological groups; excellent views of Hurricane Gladys and Typhoon Gloria were obtained.  Figure XVIII-1 shows one of a series of views taken of Hurricane Gladys at 15:31 G.m.t., October 17, 1968.  This photograph and the others taken on this pass are the best color photographs of a tropical storm circulation taken from outer space.  Views of tropical storms taken during other missions typically included only part of the storm area or wee dominated by a high cirrus cloud deck.  In this view, when the storm was just west of central Florida, the spiral bands of shower activity (which are characteristic of tropical storms) are easy to detect.  There is a typical, although relatively small deck of cirrus over the storm, but the circular cap near the eye is unusual.  Such clouds are normally formed when the rising air from a very active cumulonimbus cloud is retarded by the stable air above the tropopause and, in the absence of wind shear, spreads out in all directions.  Sometimes the outflow appears to have a wavelike motion, creating concentric rings of more prominent clouds.

            For comparison, figure XVIII-2 shows the ESSA-7 weather-satellite picture of Hurricane Gladys.  The hurricane is shown about 4 hours later in figure XVIII-1.  Operational satellite pictures are used routinely to show the locations and gross features of meteorological systems.  The color photograph enables the meteorologist to ascertain much more accurately the types of clouds involved.

            Figure XVIII-3, taken a 00:26 G.m.t., October 20, 1968, is one of the best views from space of the eye of a tropical storm, Typhoon Gloria.  For comparison, the ESSA-7 view taken about 5 hours later (fig. XVIII-4) shows the large, well-formed eye of the storm.  During the last few days of the mission, the storm made the seas uncomfortably rough at tracking ship mercury and caused the aiming points for potential landings in the western Pacific Ocean to be relocated.

            The effects of islands on the cloud distribution and on the wind field as shown by cloud patterns are well illustrated by photographs having the scale and quality of those obtained during the Gemini and Apollo 7 missions.  One example is the picture of Oahu, Hawaii (fig. XVIII-5).  Here, the trade-wind flow from the east has apparently been split by the island, resulting in convergence and cloud lines on the lee side of the island.

            Oceanographic surface features have been revealed more clearly in the photographs from this space flight than in any of the preceding manned flights.  Phenomena such as eddies, slicks, swells, and other lines are indicators of surface water motion.  One of the most remarkable photographs from space is in figure XVIII-6.  This view featuring the Indonesian Islands of Biak and Supiori, shows a faint but definite pattern of ocean waves-more properly, swells-north of the islands.  The wave spacing is approximately 1000 feet.  The surfline appears brighter and wider on the northern reefs and beaches than on the southern coast.  It is probable that the swells originated from the winds of Typhoon Gloria, which for several days was located approximately 1200 to 1500 miles to the north.

            The various patterns on the sea surface are especially evident when the reflection of the sun is photographed.  Sediment discharged from rivers into the sea discolors the water, making it possible to see the movement of coastal waters by currents.  A careful study and interpretation of these phenomena can produce information on wind direction, as shown by swell alinement on areas of converging and diverging surface water which relates to sea-surface temperatures, and on slicks which frequently show the presence of internal waves.  Marine meteorology is strongly influenced by the interaction between the air and the sea.  Sunglint photographs showing large areas of the sea surface can be a useful tool studying marine weather.          

            In general, the color and exposure quality of the pictures on type SO-368 film was excellent.  The crew encountered some problems in exposing the type SO-121 film, and many frames are underexposed, magenta in color, or overexposed.  The need to change film magazines, filters, and exposure settings hurriedly when a target came into view probably accounts for the improper exposure of many frames.  When properly exposed, the type SO-121 film exhibits a magenta color balance in the highlights.  Image sharpness ranged from fair to excellent on both films, with steadiness in holding the camera a probably factor in those frames tending to contain blurred images.  Swells on the sea surface were resolved on both films.  Most of the photographs taken over the following geographic areas:  southern United States, northern Mexico, northeaster Africa, southern and southeastern Asia, western and northern Australia, and Hawaiian Islands area.  One magazine of type SO-121 film contained enough film for approximately 145 exposures; the other magazines each held approximately 65 exposures.  From a total of approximately 500 frames, 300 frames may be of use in meteorology, 165 in geology, and 80 in oceanography.

            The Apollo photographic frames used in this experiment are contained in the following list.         


October 11 to 22, 1968

     Frame                                                                     Comments

Magazine M

AS7-3-1529                Sediment Patterns in Gulf of California.  Compare with Gemini IV photography.


AS7-3-1541 and          Cloud streets along Gulf Coast.  Investigate low-level wind profile.



AS7-3-1544 to            Cloud streets and thunderstorms over Florida.  Investigate wind profile.



AS7-3-1548                Investigate origin of convective and cirrostratus clouds.


AS7-3-1554                Example of penetrative convection.  What is wind structure near tropopause?


AS7-3-1555 and          Von Kármán eddy.  What is location and cause?




Magazine N                 


AS7-4-1590 and          Tuamoto Atolls.  What is reason for cumulus cloud lines?

AS7-4-1592                (inertia circles)



Frame                                                                          Comments


AS7-4-1592                Cellular structure in stratocumulus over Arabian Sea south of Pakistan.


AS7-4-1593                Climatic boundary in upper-right corner.  Why are cumulus clouds along the boundary?


AS7-4-1594 and          Study sediment patterns along coast and in lagoons.  Why is structure

AS7-4-1595                in clouds perpendicular to the coastline?


AS7-4-1604                Determine altitude of snowline using topographic maps.  What are dark spots in snow?


AS7-4-1607                Investigate eddies in lee of cape on Biak.  Measure swell wavelength.  Determine surface wind direction and speed.  Absence of swells to left of island.  Wave diffraction patterns at end of island.  Heavier surf on right of island.


AS7-4-1608                What are lines in water in sunglint area?  Measure distance between “slick” lines.


AS7-4-1611                Study sediment patterns along coast.


Magazine O                 


AS7-6-1691                Estimate thickness and investigate double red band in limb at edge and center.


AS7-6-1695 and          Determine wind direction and speed at cirrus level and reason for cross-

AS7-6-1696                banning.


AS7-6-1705                Determine coastal current direction from sand spits.


AS7-6-1713                Why is stratocumulus confined to north side of Canary Islands?


AS7-6-1714                Are bands and lines in stratocumulus island-induced?


AS7-6-1720                Study sediment patterns along coast.  Associate wind profile with cumulus cloud streets and bands in higher clouds at right angles.


AS7-6-1725 and          Relate cumulus cloud lines to low-level winds.  Is convective cloudiness

AS7-6-1726                associated with Gulf Stream?


AS7-6-1729 and          Are convective clouds and cirrus part of the Intertropical Convergence

AS7-6-1730                Zone?


AS7-6-1731                Is “hook” in stratocumulus caused by cape on Baja California’s west coast?


AS7-6-1734                What are features along edge of underwater bank?


AS7-6-1735                Is wind direction to left as towers of cumulus are leaning?








     Frame                                                                     Comments


Magazine P


AS7-11-1979 to          Determine altitude of snowline by using topographic maps.  Compare

AS7-11-1982              snow coverage with past Gemini photographs.


AS7-11-1983              Note increase in width of cloud band at photograph center.


AS7-11-1985              Measure wavelength of bands in clouds.


AS7-11-1986              Do radial lines in cellular clouds represent flow directions?

                                    Closed Benárd cells?


AS7-11-1987              Determine cause of cloud line at right.


AS7-11-1989              Compare dune structure with possible Gemini photographs of same area.


AS7-11-1990              Why is convective cloud band along east coast of Oman?


AS7-11-1992              Compare with possible MA-9 photograph of same area and note any changes.


AS7-11-1996 and        Examine open-cell patterns; estimate diameters.  What could be causing

AS7-11-1997              thunderstorms at left?


AS7-11-2002              Study sediment patterns in water.


AS7-11-2005              Study lines in structure of stratocumulus clouds.  Note vortex.


AS7-11-2012              Determine why Canary Islands are creating bands in stratocumulus.  Note slick line extending from island to line in clouds near coast.


AS7-11-2013              Determine coastal wind structure and current direction and associate with Cape Rhir eddy.  Note lines in the stratocumulus.


AS7-11-2016              Is cooler sea surface suppressing cumulus development off west coast of Florida?


AS7-11-2017 and        Note cumulus congestus near Florida coast.. Compare cloud field with

AS7-11-2018              with wind profile.


AS7-11-2019 to          Note leewave pattern in cirrus east of Sierra Nevada.  Study smog patterns 

AS7-11-2022              over Los Angeles.  Relate stratocumulus clouds offshore to wind field.  Is cirrus along front?  Note eddy near Catalina Island.


AS7-11-2023 to          Study ocean surface features in sunglint areas on Gulf of California.  Note 

AS7-11-2027              eddies, island effects, slicks.


     Frame                                                                     Comments


AS7-11-2031              What is generating cirrus clouds?


AS7-11-2033 to          Compare low-level wind structure with cloud lines.  Note features

AS7-11-2039              in water.


   Magazine Q              


AS7-5-1620                Estimate crest-to-crest distance of sand dunes.


AS7-5-1624                Study sediment patterns off mouth of Euphrates River.  Note eddies in sunglint pattern at right.


AS7-5-1626                Explain large gradients in sediment pattern.  Does upswelling exist along coast?


AS7-5-1628                Is blue arc in sea near Isla Cedro an artifact?


AS7-5-1631                What is relationship of cumulus cloud position of San Lorenzo Island to change in sea reflectivity?  Note eddies.


AS7-5-1632                Note numerous eddies in water.


AS7-5-1634 to            Notice eddies and lines in coastal water.



AS7-5-1644                Sharp edges on stratus, shadow, and sea surface feature.


AS7-5-1647                What is low-level wind?  Convergence line in lee of island?


AS7-5-1649 and          Note river effluent pattern.



AS7-5-1656                Is pattern in sand dunes?  If so, how is it formed.


AS7-5-1660                Is dust blowing at the right of the photograph? Check weather observations.  What is “star”?


AS7-5-1665                Has island at upper right created the long cloud street?  Note forking in streets.


AS7-5-1666                Note crater near corner.

    Magazine R


AS7-8-1880 and          Compare underwater features near Shark Bay with Gemini photographs.


     Frame                                                                     Comments

AS7-8-1885 and          What created the two long cloud lines?  Are billow clouds down-wind of

AS7-8-1886                the line?  Note perpendicular structure in cloud bands.  Note billows in the                                 cirrus at lower right.

AS7-8-1887                Is blue haze over water from smoke?

AS7-8-1888                Is cirrus near jet stream?

AS7-8-1891 and          Note billows in the cirrostratus and the convection cell.


AS7-8-1893                What are white lines off Cape Kennedy?

AS7-8-1894                What are dark features in water off Cuba?  Look up surface winds.

AS7-8-1895                Note features along edge of bank.

AS7-8-1898                What is white streak on sea?

AS7-8-1900                Cross-banding in smoke from fires?

AS7-8-1908                Examine grid-like rows of cumulus off Australian coast.

AS7-8-1911                Note billow clouds in lower right.

AS7-8-1914                Note curvature to smoke plumes.  Identify with wind profile.

AS7-8-1916                Note smoke plumes and fog (?) patches.

AS7-8-1918                Note sediment patterns in Mobile Bay and along coast.  Smoke plumes

                                    West of bay appear to have westerly bend.

AS7-8-1920                Check winds along coast to determine whether Natal has sea breeze and

                                    North coast does not.

AS7-8-1922                Are clouds part of a cold frontal zone?

AS7-8-1923                Note suppression of cumulus clouds under the cirrus.  Why are there other breaks in the cumulus field?


AS7-8-1924                Good example of sea breeze effect in cloud pattern.


AS7-8-1930                Eye of Typhoon Gloria.  Study alinement of currus for upper-level flow.  Determine position of wall-cloud.  Measure eye diameter.


AS7-8-1932                Compare water level in Lake Chad with past Gemini photographs.


     Frame                                                                     Comments


AS7-8-1933                Measure smoke plume length coming from Port St. Joe.


AS7-8-1935 and          Good examples of convective clouds over the sea.



AS7-8-1937                Determine wind direction at surface and distance of eddy from Guadalupe.


AS7-8-1943                Study sediment pattern along the coast.


  Magazine S


AS7-7-1738 to            Compare with cloud photographs from ESSA and (ATS).  Determine

AS7-7-1747                which cloud forms are island-induced and why:  southwest of Oahu, Maui, Nihau.  What is patchy, blue haze between Maui and Hawaii?  Study orographic clouds on Hawaii.


AS7-7-1750 to            Compare sediment patterns at Amazon River mouth with past Gemini

AS7-7-1756                photographs for changes.


AS7-7-1759                Look up upper-air flow to determine cloud alinement.  Note series of billowlike clouds near horizon.


AS7-7-1764                Note directional changes in billows.  Good examples.  Measure wavelength.


AS7-7-1772                Note water patterns in sunglint.  How well are coral reefs charted?



AS7-7-1777 and          Note circulation in water off cape near Mukalla.



AS7-7-1779                Does current from northeast form the eddy between Socotra and The Brothers?  Study slicks, lines, wave orientation.  What is white line in sea south of Socotra?  Compare with Gemini photograph of Socotra.


AS7-7-1782                Compare island and reefs with charts.


AS7-7-1800                Examine coastal current and sediment pattern off Matagorda Bay.  Compare with previous photographs.


AS7-7-1801 to            Look up reason for heavy cirrostratus over Gulf of Mexico.



AS7-7-1808                Determine whether or not white patches beyond mountains are fog.


AS7-7-1811                Is haziness along coast caused by very thin cirus or window residue?


     Frame                                                                     Comments


AS7-7-1821                Surface must be very calm because clouds are reflected on sea.


AS7-7-1825                Good example of cirrus being produced by convection.


AS7-7-1846 and          Explain the long, dark line near the horizon.



AS7-7-1863                Note smoke plumes.


AS7-7-1868                Why are thunderstorms along the shoreline?


AS7-7-1874                Note sharp edge and shadow made by cirrus at outer edge of hurricane.


AS7-7-1875 to            Determine center of circulation of hurricane Gladys.  Compare with ESSA

AS7-7-1878                photographs.  Center is on line between New Orleans and Key West.








[The phenomena listed are considered worthy of further study]







Weather Systems









Tropical storms




Frontal zones


Cellular stratocumulus




Florida , Pacific Ocean


United States , Southeast Asia , South America


United States


Eastern Pacific Ocean, Eastern, Atlantic Ocean






















Cumulus cloud lines


Sea Swells


Sea Breeze zone


Cirrus anvil clouds


Jetstream cirrus clouds


Billow clouds


Smoke plumes


Sand dune alinement


Surf Zone




United States


Biak, Socotra


United States , Brazil


United States , Africa , Australia


Africa, Australia


United States


Australia , Southern United States , Hawaii


Africa, Asia


Coasts, islands



Ocean Surface









Sea swells


Slicks and lines




Biak, Socotra , Persian Gulf , Gulf of California


Biak, Socotra


Gulf of California, Persian Gulf



Underwater zones





Ocean-bottom configuration


Turbid water patterns




Australian reefs, Pacific atolls, Bahama Bands, Cuba


Coastlines, gulfs



Landform effect





Mountain lee clouds


Eddy clouds




Sierra Nevada, Hawaiian Islands, Canary Islands


California coast, Cape Rhir



Climatic zones





Snow line and cover


Vegetation boundary




Asian Mountains


Africa, mountain slopes






Snow cover


Streams and lakes


Asian mountains


Lake Chad, United States


                               XIX.   METEOROLOGY

By William Nordberg and William Shenk

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Greenbelt, Maryland


            The following statements describe meteorological aspects of the photography:

1.       The image quality of the normally exposed transparencies was satisfactory for meteorological purposes. Frames that were underexposed are unsatisfactory for the examination of cloud detail, especially cirrus clouds that are not easily seen, even in normally exposed transparencies.  When prints are made, the brightness levels should be raised for the underexposed transparencies.  The resolution was adequate for detecting the smallest scales of cumuliform cloudiness.

2.        The Apollo 7 mission covered a wider range of meteorological situations than did either the earlier Gemini photography or the photography from the Apollo 6 mission.  The photography methods were similar to the methods of Gemini missions, but a greater variety of meteorological subjects were present.  However, the Apollo 7 mission had several photographic disadvantages when compared to the Apollo 6 missions. These disadvantages are as follows.


a.        Few of the photographs were taken with the principal point near the nadir.

b.       No transmissivity curves were prepared for the lens, filters, or the windows of the spacecraft.

c.        Image quality suffered from underexposed transparencies.

d.       Stereophotographic techniques could be employed on only a few of the photographs.

e.        No data were available on lens settings and shutter speeds.

3.                   A potential meteorological use of the photographs would be in a situation in which improving resolution would lead to clearer understanding of mesometeorological processes.  Another potential use is for study of scales of cloudiness that cannot be examined with vidicon systems.  Examples of such mesometeorological phenomena are: (a) sea breezes, (b) wave clouds, (c) cloud streets, (d) orographic cloudiness, (e) thunderstorms, (f) details of jetstream cirrus, and (g) small-scale features of tropical storms.  Cloud statistics concerning the scales of cloudiness and earth cover can be generated through flying-spot scanner techniques.


Spectral-reflectance measurements of clouds and other surfaces are possible if camera-system calibration is performed.  Albedos of these surfaces can then be determined.  The computed albedos can be compared with other measurements from aircraft and laboratory.


Photographs not taken at an extremely oblique angle can be compared with other satellite (ATS) and Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) have less resolution, the Apollo photographs can be used as ground truth to evaluate the television data from the ATS and ESSA satellites.


4.       Research in two areas with the Apollo 7 photography is being considered.  These areas are as follows:

a.        Cloud statistics can be generated from pictures in which the principal point of frame is not far from the nadir.  Because studies are needed for the vertical soundings to be performed with meteorological satellites, these studies must be made both globally and with great spatial resolution.  Existing data from ESSA and Nimbus provide the global coverage; Apollo 7 data (as well as other MSC data) provide the desired spatial resolutions in selected regions.  If these missions were to have a greater orbit inclination, the data would be more useful.


b.       Apollo 7 camera-system calibration would enable brightness and albedo studies of clouds and other surfaces to be conducted.

5.       Screening team members from Laboratory for Atmospheric and Biological Sciences (LABS) have made recommendations for future photographic missions.  Considerable work has been done to prepare transmissivity curves for the optical system of the Apollo 6 mission.  In order to properly relate brightness measurements acquired from the transparencies to albedos, brightness values should be obtained from light sources of known intensities.  Albedos can be obtained by comparing the brightness measurements from the photography with the calibrated brightness values.  On future missions, the cameras should be calibrated before the flight.

The capability of measuring albedos from orbital altitude could be more closely examined if simultaneous aircraft measurements were made with an optical system identical to the spacecraft system.


In the past, photography has been restricted to orbits with low inclinations.  Many significant weather features are observable outside the belt of latitudes covered by low-inclination orbits.  An inclination of 50º is suggested.


Photographic missions should be conducted in as systematic a fashion as possible.  The Apollo 6 mission has been the most successful in this regard.

















                                          XX.   METEOROLOGY


                       By Victor S. Whitehead

                      Earth Resources Division

               NASA Manned Spacecraft Center

                              Houston, Texas



      The following comments apply to Apollo 7 photography.


1.       Image quality ranged from poor to excellent.  Improper exposure was apparently the primary cause of poor quality in some frames.

2.                   Overall quality of the better exposures was similar to that of the Gemini series but poorer than that of the Apollo 6.  The greatest difficulty with this photography compared to Apollo 6 is the lack of complementary information.  Location of event and time of exposure are only grossly estimated unless there are identifiable terrain features in the field of view.  This makes it impossible to relate the photographed cloud features to other meteorological information.  The oblique views have both  favorable and unfavorable aspects.  More area is shown in the oblique views than is nadir photographs.  This gives a better quantitative view of the “big picture;” however, quantitative information is lost to some degree.  It is not possible to determine the fraction of the sky covered by clouds or to compare the size of different clouds.  Stereophotographic capability is reduced extensively.

The concept of photographing interesting targets of opportunity provides a concentration of events of significant interest.  This concentration is provided, however, without statistical data for analyses of representativeness of these events.  There are an exceptionally large number of Apollo 7 frames depicting cloud streets.  The impression is given that this is the normal and not exceptional case.  Apollo 6 photography, however, indicated that these well-defined streets are the exception.


3.       Use of the Apollo 7 photographs in objective studies will be severely restricted unless time and location of the views can be determined.  There are sufficient photographs taken over known locations and at known times to provide useful information in a study of cloud streets.  Investigators interested in hurricane dynamics will find the views of Gladys and Gloria helpful in studies.  Both these storms exhibited unusual characteristics.  The film can be used as a visual aid in demonstrating characteristics of the atmosphere such as sea-breeze effect, clearing over lakes and rivers, and the structure of mesoscale systems.

4.       Preliminary plans for use of Apollo 7 photographs include the following aspects.

a.                    The environment associated with cloud streets will be studied to determine when this form of convection is most likely to occur.

b.                   Rope-like clouds over water, shown in frames AS7-8-1885 and AS7-8-1886, will be investigated to determine the nature of the phenomenon. (This investigation will be restricted by the location off the African Coast.)

5.       Recommendations for future photographic missions include the following details.     

a.                                   The log of time and location of the photographs should be given th same priority as the taking of the photographs.

b.                                   Bracketed cameras with short focal lengths and nadir-photography capability are preferred for various purposes.  Continuous strip photography such as that of Apollo 6 is to be encouraged when sufficient film can be carried.

c.                                   For extended missions, such as Apollo 7, real-time ground-directed projects should be considered.


























By Phillip N. Slater

University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona




            Three questions raised at the aircraft review meeting and at the screening of the Apollo 7 photography, both held at MSC, were as follows:


1.       Since multi-spectral signatures are used to interpret terrain features, can requirements for spatial resolution be decreased?


2.       What important data cannot be extracted from present space photographs because of inadequate spatial resolution?


3.       What steps are being taken to obtain a quantitative assessment of the image quality of space photographs?


The questions involve spatial resolution, limitations, and image quality.




If the terrain features spectrally reflected light as simple line spectra, then spatial resolution would, for general survey purposes, be of little importance, and coarse spatial resolution spectroradiometry would suffice.  However, the spectral reflectance curves of terrain features show only continuous, slowly changing variations of reflectance with wavelengths.  Sometimes, little change occurs in the curve from one feature of interest to another.  The shape of these curves is also a function of sun-target-camera angle, atmospheric backscatter, and many other variables difficult to measure.  Under adequate spatial resolution, the problem of discriminating between features of interest and then identifying them is a complicated problem that requires diligence and experience in analysis.


An example of two adjacent fields containing crops of wheat and corn may be used to define adequate resolution.  The spectral reflectance of the two crops is similar.  If the resolution of the system were such that overlap occurred along the common side of the crops, careful observation might indicate the remaining portions of the two fields to be different in crop type and might further indicate one crop to be corn and the other wheat.  Under these conditions, the resolution would be adequate.  At a coarser resolution, the two fields would merge, as would the two spectral signatures.  Under these conditions, it would be impossible to say whether there were two crops or only one.


It is perhaps instructive to think of spatial resolution as a type of spectral filter insofar as it separates features having different spectral reflectance characteristics.  If the spatial resolution is adequate, it follows that a spectral signature is pure and not mixed in an undecipherable manner with a second spectral signature.


Spatial resolution is indispensable for shape determinations and, therefore, for important measurements of crop acreage.






A second question raised concerned what cannot be seen on the space photography.  Because of the initiative of Colwell and others, investigators are more aware of some of the advantages of space photography compared with aircraft and ground survey methods.  Early reports on this type of study understandably tend to stress the advantages of space photography, and dwell little on the limitations.  It is important to realize the limitations and to realize that many of the limitations are directly the cause of inadequate spatial resolution.


                                               IMAGE QUALITY


The image quality assessment of space photographs is now underway at MSC.  The method being used involves locating a straight edge (coastline, et cetera) present in a space photograph, taking the Fourier transform of a microdensitometer scan of the edge, and thus obtaining the modulation transfer function (MTF) of the camera system under the prevailing conditions.  The MTF represents the modulation in the photographic image for all spatial frequencies up to the resolution cut-off of the system.  It takes into account all degrading factors such as atmospheric contrast attenuation and turbulence, window imperfections, the lens MTF, the film MTF, camera vibration, and movement.


The technique is in early development at MSC, but in the future, it should provide useful quantitative data on system performance.  The results may be used in diagnosing the factors that most seriously degrade the photography.  For example, to what extent are the white lenticular particles deposited on the windows?







The following are the recommendations for use in multiband imagery.


1.       Continue to develop higher angular resolution space photography.


2.       Continue with simultaneous aerial photography during future space photography missions.  Use the comparison between aerial and space photography in support of development of higher angular resolution space photography.


3.       Simultaneous aerial photography will be of importance when the first multi-band camera system is used in space.  Then, simultaneous aerial photography will be vital in order to log information regarding exposure time, f-number, time of day, and sun-target-camera angle for both aerial and space photography.


4.       Continue to obtain overlapping photography, such as from Apollo 6, for use in simple cartographic studies.


5.       Proceed with the edge-analysis technique to furnish quantitative system performance data and to diagnose image-degrading factors.


6.       Of importance to the future of space multiband photography is the suggested approach of using several return-beam vidicon cameras in a multiband mode.  This approach leaves a lot to be desired in that the data obtained may be uninterpretable.  An image-tube approach has been suggested which appears more promising because photography seem to be readily soluble.


Manned Spacecraft Center

           National Aeronautics and Space Administration

                     Houston, Texas, June 6, 1969




















































The Apollo 7 crew exposed nine magazines of 70-mm film during the October 1968 flight.  Two magazines contained Kodak type SO-368 film, two contained Kodak type 3400 film, and five contained Kodak type SO-121 film.  Seven of the nine magazines, which include 493 frames of usable imagery, are described in this appendix.  A descriptive outline including evaluation methods and mission parameters has been compiled.  The frame number, orbit, date, season, local solar time, ground elapsed time, sun evaluation, coordinates, and scale were compiled as useful support data for each frame evaluated.  Photographic map plots, altitudes, percentage of cloud cover, and an image evaluation were compiled for data enhancement.  The description of the imagery by discipline is included to aid the user in a more detailed evaluation of Apollo 7 imagery.




The information obtained from the photographs taken during the Apollo 7 mission proved to be valuable.  Photography was acquired of areas that have never been photographed from spacecraft altitudes.  The photographic attitudes ranged from near vertical to high oblique and from underexposed to overexposed photographic quality.  Photographic altitudes ranged from 88 to 198n. mi., with an average range of 120 to 130 n. mi.  Sun angles for the exposures varied fro 5º to 84º.  A wide range of factors affected the overall quality of the imagery.


The mission data and the information list for the Apollo 7 photographs, are compiled by the Mapping Sciences Laboratory.  The portion of the report (table A-I) deals with the total number of frames pertaining to a single discipline is a guide to the user of the photography.  The information should enable the user to select quickly the frames that apply to his specific discipline.  No attempt has been made to establish the frames that have the largest percentage of single-discipline occurrence, but only that the particular frame in question does contain major features of interest to that discipline.  Some photographs contain features pertaining to a number of disciplines.









The primary mission objectives were to test the command module performance and capabilities.  The mission was a 10-day earth-orbital operations mission.  The launch azimuth was 72º from true north, with an orbit inclination of 33º to the equator.  As a secondary mission objective, photographs were obtained from 35ºnorth latitude to 35ºsouth latitude, over a period of 157 orbits.  Targets of weather and terrain were of prime importance.  Additionally, the areas can be studied from a different perspective and included in the earth resources survey.  Each area photographed was analyzed in a generalized manner for additional study to be performed in specific related disciplines of geography-cartography, geology-hydrology, agriculture, forestry, meteorology, and oceanography.


World Apollo Index Map


Figures A-1, A-2, and A-3 illustrate the extent and location of all the Apollo 6 and the majority of the Apollo 7 photographic coverage over land areas.  All the Apollo 7 photographic coverage from magazines M to S is listed in table A-II.  The limits of frame coverage were extracted from previously compiled Operational Navigation Charts (ONC) plots.  Figures A-4 and A-5 show enlarged segments of the Baja California area and the Sinai Peninsula.  The areas were photographed extensively and appear as heavy line congestion on the World Apollo Index Map.  The purpose of the enlargement is to reduce line congestion for easy frame limit identification.


Camera Data


Basic camera data are as follows:


1.       Camera:  Hasselblad 500-C NASA modified, 70-mm, Serial No. 023


2.       Lens:  Zeiss Planar, f/2.8, 80-mm focal length


3.       Aperture setting:  f/2.8 to f/22


4.       Shutter:  Between the lens


5.       Film-filter combination in each magazine:


Magazine          Film type          Filter                            Frame Numbers


     M                SO-368          None                AS7-3-1511 to AS7-3-1557

     N                SO-368          None                AS7-4-1558 to AS7-4-1612

     Q                SO-121          2A                   AS7-5-1613 to AS7-5-1671

     O                SO-121          2A                   AS7-6-1672 to AS7-6-1737

     S                 SO-121          2A                   AS7-7-1738 to AS7-7-1879

     R                 SO-121          2A                   AS7-8-1880 to AS7-8-1943

     P                 SO-121          None                AS7-11-1979 to AS7-11-2043


Magazine V (frames AS7-9-1944 to AS7-9-1948) and magazine U (frames AS7-10-1949 to AS7-10-1978) were not included in this evaluation because of a malfunction in the camera system.


Film and Filter Data


            The film used was Eastman Kodak type SO-368 (medium speed Ektachrome, ASA-64) and Eastman Kodak type SO-121 (high-resolution Aerial Ektachrome, AEI-6).  The film was 70-mm wide, 2.5 mil thick and had a polyester base.  The frame format was 55.5 by 55.5 mm.  The filters were of the Wratten 2a type in which the lower limit of transmittance is 4100 angstroms.


Equipment/ Data Used for Interpretation


            Optical equipment used in interpretation of the transparency media included the following:  tube magnifiers (X7), lined testers (X5), folding hand stereoscopes (X2 and X4), and binocular zoom stereoscopes (X.07 to X30).  Rear projection viewers (X3, X4, X8, X12, and X24) were also used.


Screening Information List Explanation


            A column-by-column explanation of the screening information list (table A-II) is as follows:


            Frame number. – The photographic frames from the Apollo 7 mission were from frame AS7-3-1511 to frame AS7-8-1943 and from frame AS7-10-1949 to frame AS7-11-2043.  The frames were exposed in seven magazines.


            Orbit number. -  The orbit numbers designate the orbit in which the frame was exposed.


            Date. – The date is the day on which the frame, on its designated orbit, was exposed.


            Seasons. -  Apollo 7 photographs were taken during October.  The season in the areas north of 15º north latitude is fall, and the season in the areas south of 15º south latitude is spring.  In the tropical latitudes, areas between latitudes 15ºnorth and 15ºsouth, there is a small annual temperature range, resulting in a lack of distinct fall, winter, spring, and summer seasons.  The principal determination factor of seasons in tropical areas is the extent and distribution of moisture, which results in a tropical climate of hot-wet and cool-dry seasons.


            Ground elapsed time. – The time designation is initiated from the time of launch through the entire mission on a continuous basis starting at 000 hr min 00 sec.  The listing is only recorded in hours and minutes and was extracted from the orbit trace.  The exact geographic position of the spacecraft at the time of exposure cannot be determined by the resulting imagery without extensive analytical photogrammetric resection and mensuration.  Camera orientation angles and spacecraft altitudes are inconsistent for quick nadir point location determination.  In most frames, the image format is obscured by the limits of the spacecraft windows.  In a few cases, the horizon is available for accurate tilt axis analysis or principal line construction on the imagery.


            Since the exact nadir point location is difficult to determine from the photography, the possibility of determining an exact ground elapsed time (g.e.t.) from the imagery is improbable.  The g.e.t. for each frame has been extracted from the “Apollo 7 Preliminary Report.”  These exposure times are approximate and intended only as an aid to the user.


            Local Solar Time. – Local solar time, for a particular frame, is that time at or near the principal point at the time of exposure and is based upon the G.m.t. of the exposure and the geographic position of the principal point.  The time change constant applied to the calculation of local solar time is 4 minutes for every 1ºof longitude change.  Local time corridors were not taken into consideration for this computation.





            Sun elevation. – The local sun elevation is an approximate value that indicates the angle of the sun above the horizon for a particular time and location and is intended only as a guide to the user.  These values wee extracted from the “Apollo 7 Preliminary Report” and are used as support data.



            Principal point. – Each photograph that contained enough landmass for geographical identification was plotted on World Aeronautical Charts (WAC) 1:1,000,000 or on Operational Navigation charts 1:1,000,000.  In many instances, the map or photographic detail was insufficient for photographic frame plotting.  The photograph principal points, once established on the photographs, were plotted on the map source by a detailed comparison of photographic imagery (at the principal point) with map detail.  In some instances, the terrain at the principal point, even in near-vertical imagery, contained inadequate point falls over water or cloud-covered areas and too far from landmass for even approximate placement, the principal point was not plotted.


            The principal points for high oblique frames were not plotted because of the lack of visible detail near the center of the photograph.  However, when the principal point could be transferred from the photograph to the map source, the geographic coordinates were scaled and recorded to the nearest minute of latitude and longitude of the point.  These values, which were extracted from map sources, are in most cases accurate to ± 30 minutes of latitude and longitude.  The resulting values appear in the tables as principal point latitude and longitude.


            In cases where it was not possible to establish the principal point because of one or more of the previously mentioned reasons, the latitude and longitude of the principal point for that particular frame were extracted from the “Apollo 7 Preliminary Report.”  These values are

designated by an asterisk.  The coordinates are only approximate and generally are accurate to ± 1º.  They are intended to give the user the approximate location of the principal joints.


            Approximate scales at the principal joint. – The established scales of Apollo 7 photographs are variable and approximate.  A majority of the frames were exposed at various angles of camera attitude and spacecraft altitudes, which constantly changed the scale of the photographs along the axis of tilt.  To compute and construct a scale grid for each individual frame proved too time consuming.  It was decided to determine the scale for a particular perpendicular under certain conditions.


            If the conditions of reliable map sources an sufficient photographic detail were present, the scales along a line perpendicular to the axis of tilt and at the principal point could be determined.  This was accomplished by the ratios of map scale, map distance as compared to photograph scale and photograph distance.  The problem is that of having measurable image distances that correspond to measurable map distances, for example, drainage intersections, points on a coastline, highway intersections, small islands, et cetera.  All measurements were made perpendicular to the tilt axis and as close to the principal point as possible.  Scales of this type wee determined only when the proper conditions prevailed and are meant only as a guideline for the user.  They should not be used for precise photographic mensuration, and it should be remembered that the scales are only as reliable as the map source.






            Map plots. – Figures A-6 and A-7 are indices published by the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center, denoting the sequence and location of the ONC series through-out the world.  These maps, compiled at 1:1,000,000 scale, were used for Apollo 7 photographic plotting.  World Aeronautical Charts were used for plotting when Operational Navigation Charts were not available.  The circumstances were infrequent and do not justify the incorporation of a QAC index in this publication.  For each of the photographs, where a principal point was located, a designated ONC or WAC is recorded.


            Altitude. – The spacecraft elevation above mean sea level, at the spacecraft nadir is expressed in nautical miles.


            Present cloud cover. – Clouds appear in more than 90 percent of Apollo 7 photography and obliterate a large percentage of the photographable landmass.  Although cloud formations are of definite interest t a meteorologist or climatologist, their obscuring nature produces a problem to the earth resources investigator who is interested in the underlying terrain.  It was decided therefore that the person (or persons) required in maaking photographic terrain analysis of Apollo 7 imagery should be forewarned regarding the approximate percentage of cloud cover of each frame.  This was accomplished by placing a 100-unit proportionate grid, constructed to frame format requirements, over each frame.  If a 1-percent square contained clouds over one-half its area, the cloud cover was considered to be 1 percent. Each square within the frame limits that contain actual imagery were counted and recorded as the percentage of clouds cover within that frame.  When the frame was exposed for cloud-top brightness, the underlying imagery is dark.  The presence or absence of clouds below the bright cloud barrier was impossible to verify.  Therefore, the percentage of cloud cover is based entirely upon the uppermost apparent cloud cover.


            Description by discipline. – The description of the current earth resource disciplines on Apollo 7 imagery was undertaken to aid the photoanalyst in his search for as aspect of his discipline occurring in each frame.  When an aspect of a discipline did not appear to be contained within the frame limits, that discipline category was excluded from the frame description column.



            The descriptions for each frame are short, concise general statements of occurrence.  They are based upon visual inspection of the 70-mm film positive, with the aid of magnification devices.  Only those discipline aspects that were most apparent to the evaluator were described.  No attempt was made to perform a detailed analysis for any one discipline.  The location of the desired discipline aspects within the frame has been geographically—not by coordinates.


            Geography and cartography, because of their closely related characteristics, were combined into one description.  The same is true of geology and hydrology.  The other disciplines were agriculture, forestry, meteorology, and oceanography.


            Image evaluation (denoted in parentheses at the end of the geography description) was devised as a rapid method for determining exposure quality.  The three descriptive terms used to denote exposure quality are simple and concise.  The terms light, normal, and dark denote overexposure, normal exposure, and underexposure respectively.  This guideline should enable the investigator to eliminate, or at least grade, those frames that are applicable for his particular discipline evaluation.





            The data and information contained in this appendix are intended to aid the scientist in selecting the frames most suited to his needs and to provide him with basic information concerning the selected frames, as an aid in the analysis of the Apollo 7, 70-mm color photography.


            Ideally, this information should accompany the photography that is provided to the scientists in the Earth Resources Program.  Because of the amount of time necessary to compile the information, it could not be distributed at the same time as the photography.  It is hoped that there will be a continued demand for Apollo photography for scientific analysis.  The data and information in this report should be an invaluable aid in the initial stages of scientific investigations.








































Following is a list of reference materials that were used in the evaluation of Apollo 7 imagery.

            Spacecraft Recovery Chart.  (ACIC) Apollo 6, 1:5,000,000.



Apollo Mission Charts.  (ACIC) Apollo 7, sheets 1 and 2.

                        A:40,000,000, 1968.

            Sectional Aeronautical Charts. (ACIC) 1:500,000.

            ONC Charts. (ACIC) 1:1,000,000.

            ONC World Index. (ACIC)

            Topographic Maps. (AMS) 1:250,000.

            Landforms of the United States and Mexico. Raisz, Erwin: 1:4,500,000,

                        1957 and 1964.

            Geological Maps of the United States.  U.S. Geological Survey; Stose, G.W.:

                        (five parts) 1:2,500,000, 1960.

            Goode’s World Atlas.  Goode, J.P.; and Espenshade, E.B.: Rand McNally

                        Co., 1965.

            Major Forest Types in the United States. (USDAFS) 1:5,000,000.

            Apollo 7 Preliminary Report.  Photographic Technology Laboratory,

                        November 1968.

            Apollo 7-205 Preliminary Plotting and Indexing Report.  Mapping Sciences

                        Laboratory.  November 1968.

            WAC Charts, 1:1,000,000.










  AS7-4-1590   to  1592

   AS7-4-1594 and 1595

   AS7-4-1607 and 1608






 AS7-5-1623 and 1624

 AS7-5-1626   to  1636

 AS7-5-1638   to  1642


 AS7-5-1649   to  1652

 AS7-5-1654 and 1655






 AS7-6-1694   to  1697

 AS7-6-1699  to  1705




 AS7-6-1720 and 1721

 AS7-6-1723 and 1726


 AS7-6-1733   to  1738

 AS7-6-1740   to  1747


 AS7-7-1751   to  1756



 AS7-7-1772   to  1774

 AS7-7-1777   to  1781




 AS7-7-1843 and 1844


 AS7-8-1880 and 1881




 AS7-8-1894   to  1899

 AS7-8-1901 and 1902



 AS7-8-1909 and 1910

 AS7-8-1913 and 1914


 AS7-8-1927 and 1928



 AS7-8-1933 and 1934

 AS7-8-1938 and 1939


 AS7-8-1983 and 1984

AS7-11-1996 and 1997


AS7-11-2001 and 2002

AS7-11-2024   to  2027

AS7-11-2033   to  2041


AS7-3-1528    to  1536

AS7-3-1541    to  1546

AS7-4-1590    to  1595


AS7-4-1607    to  1612


AS7-5-1613    to  1643

AS7-5-1645    to  1652

AS7-5-1654    to  1670

AS7-6-1672    to  1680

AS7-6-1693    to  1708


AS7-6-1712    to  1726

AS7-6-1731    to  1737

AS7-6-1737    to  1760

AS7-6-1764    to  1785

AS7-6-1787    to  1800


AS7-7-1802    to  1824

AS7-7-1826    to  1832

AS7-7-1835    to  1879

AS7-8-1880    to  1888

AS7-8-1891    to  1894


AS7-8-1896    to  1903

AS7-8-1905    to  1914

AS7-8-1916    to  1918

AS7-8-1920    to  1922

AS7-8-1924    to  1928


AS7-8-1931    to  1943


AS7-8-1980    to  1985

AS7-8-1987    to  1993

AS7-8-1996    to  2003


AS7-8-2006    to  2013

AS7-8-2015    to 2041


AS7-3-1529    to  1532

AS7-5-1613    to  1615



AS7-5-1629   to  1636






AS7-6-1700    to  1702


AS7-6-1717   to  1718

AS7-6-1720   to  1725

AS7-6-1731    to  1733

AS7-6-1736    to  1737

AS7-7-1773    to  1774






AS7-8-1837    to  1839




AS7-8-1868 and 1869





AS7-8-1916    to  1918





AS7-11-2006  to 2009

AS7-11-2020  to 2034



  AS7-3-1528   to  1531

   AS7-3-1541 and 1545

   AS7-4-1593 and 1594

   AS7-5-1613   to  1643

   AS7-5-1645   to  1652


 AS7-5-1654 and 1655

 AS7-5-1657   to  1662

 AS7-5-1666 and 1667

 AS7-6-1693   to  1705

 AS7-6-1713   to  1726


 AS7-7-1731   to  1737

 AS7-7-1740   to  1750

 AS7-7-1752   to  1759


 AS7-7-1772   to  1781


 AS7-7-1783   to  1790

 AS7-7-1793   to  1800



 AS7-7-1807   to   1813


 AS7-7-1817   to  1819


 AS7-6-1826   to  1832


 AS7-6-1837   to  1839


 AS7-7-1841   to  1845

 AS7-7-1849   to  1853

 AS7-7-1856 and 1857

 AS7-7-1859   to  1864

 AS7-7-1867   to  1873


 AS7-8-1880 and 1881

 AS7-8-1887 and 1888

 AS7-8-1893 and 1894

 AS7-8-1896   to  1903

 AS7-8-1905   to  1914


 AS7-8-1916   to  1918

 AS7-8-1920   to  1922

 AS7-8-1924 and 1925

 AS7-8-1927 and 1928




 AS7-8-1938   to  1943

 AS7-11-1979 to  1985

 AS7-11-1988 to  1993

 AS7-11-1996 to  2003


 AS7-11-2006 to  2013

 AS7-11-2015 to  2033

  AS7-3-1528   to  1532

   AS7-4-1593   to  1595

   AS7-4-1607   to  1611

   AS7-5-1613   to  1616

   AS7-5-1626 and 1627


 AS7-5-1629   to  1638

 AS7-5-1640   to  1643

 AS7-5-1647   to  1652




 AS7-6-1693   to  1699

 AS7-6-1701 and 1705

 AS7-6-1716   to  1718

 AS7-6-1720   to  1725



 AS7-7-1748 and 1749

 AS7-7-1769 and 1770

 AS7-7-1777 and  1778


 AS7-7-1783 and 1784






 AS7-7-1811 and 1812


 AS7-7-1830 and 1831

 AS7-7-1835   to  1839

 AS7-7-1843   to  1845

 AS7-7-1850 and 1851

 AS7-7-1855 and  1856




 AS7-7-1868   to  1873

 AS7-8-1880 and 1881

 AS7-8-1887 and 1888



 AS7-8-1897   to  1903

 AS7-8-1905   to  1914

 AS7-8-1917 and 1918




 AS7-8-1924 and 1925

 AS7-8-1927 and 1928

 AS7-8-1931 and 1932



 AS7-8-1941   to  1943

 AS7-11-1979 to  1985



 AS7-11-2012 and 2013


 AS7-11-2020 to  2040

  AS7-3-1528   to  1532

   AS7-3-1536   to  1556

   AS7-4-1590   to  1595

   AS7-4-1606   to  1612

   AS7-5-1617   to  1619


 AS7-5-1624   to 1630

 AS7-5-1634   to 1655

 AS7-5-1658 and 1659

 AS7-5-1662   to  1666

 AS7-5-1668   to  1671


 AS7-6-1675   to  1689

 AS7-6-1693   to  1700

 AS7-6-1702   to  1737

 AS7-7-1738   to  1747

 AS7-7-1749   to  1774


 AS7-7-1776  to  1790

 AS7-7-1792   to  1808

 AS7-7-1810   to  1816

 AS7-7-1819   to  1828

 AS7-7-1830 and 1831


 AS7-7-1833   to  1854

 AS7-8-1861   to  1878

 AS7-8-1879   to  1880

 AS7-8-1883   to  1888

 AS7-8-1891   to  1899


 AS7-8-1901   to  1904

 AS7-8-1907   to  1914

 AS7-8-1919   to  1927

 AS7-8-1929   to  1932

 AS7-8-1934   to  1937


 AS7-8-1939   to  1943

 AS7-9-1944   to  1948

 AS7-10-1949 to  1978

 AS7-11-1979 to  1984

 AS7-8-1985   to  1987




 AS7-8-1896 and 1897


 AS7-11-2003 to  2041


 AS7-11-2027 to  2041

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