Through Astronaut Eyes
Photographing Early Human Spaceflight
256 Pages, 7.00 x 10.00 in, 73 Illustrations
Featuring over seventy images from the heroic age of space exploration, Through Astronaut Eyes presents the story of how human daring along with technological ingenuity allowed people to see the Earth and stars as they never had before.
Photographs from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs tell powerful and compelling stories that continue to have cultural resonance to this day, not just for what they revealed about the spaceflight experience, but also as products of a larger visual rhetoric of exploration. The photographs tell us as much about space and the astronauts who took them as their reception within an American culture undergoing radical change throughout the turbulent 1960s.
This book explores the origins and impact of astronaut still photography from 1962 to 1972, the period when human spaceflight first captured the imagination of people around the world. Photographs taken during those three historic programs are much admired and reprinted, but rarely seriously studied. This book suggests astronaut photography is particularly relevant to American culture based on how easily the images were shared through reproduction and circulation in a very visually oriented society. Space photography’s impact at the crossroads of cultural studies, the history of exploration and technology, and public memory illuminates its continuing importance to American identity.
INTRODUCTION: Interpreting Astronaut Photography
CHAPTER 1: Why an Amateur Needs a Better Camera than a Professional
CHAPTER 2: Photographs for Every Audience
CHAPTER 3: Images of Exploration
CHAPTER 4: The Afterlife of Astronaut Photography
EPILOGUE: Continuing Resonance
Archival and Bibliographic Sources
"The Apollo program was the most ambitious exploration program in history. A very important part of the lunar flights was the documentation of those flights in pictures. One of the only things remaining now of the lunar flights is the photographic evidence accumulated during the flights. Through Astronaut Eyes explains the history of space photography in an interesting and informative way. I encourage you to read about and understand what we were able to accomplish so many years ago." —Al Worden
"The detailed account of photography's integration into project Apollo in Through Astronaut's Eyes will be useful for historians of spaceflight as well as visual culture. Levasseur's focus on material culture offers a refreshing departure from political histories of NASA as an administration, reminding us of how disciplines like museum studies can add necessary dimension to historical narratives. Through Astronaut's Eyes is a welcome overview of the Apollo program's intersections with the history of photography." —Technology and Culture