Apollo in Real Time

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Apollo in Real Time
Type of site
Interactive, multimedia
Available inEnglish
Created byBen Feist
Launched2015; 8 years ago (2015)
Current statusActive

Apollo in Real Time is an interactive, multimedia website that presents the Apollo 11, Apollo 13, and Apollo 17 missions as they happened at the time by compiling and synchronizing thousands of hours of audio and video recordings, transcripts, and photographs. Apollo historian Ben Feist created the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 real-time sites, and was a NASA contractor by the time he created the Apollo 13 real-time site. Air & Space magazine describes the Apollo 13 site as "one of the most ambitious multimedia history sites ever created".[1]

Each of the real-time sites is fronted by a dashboard that provides options for different audio and video channels. Viewers can explore the multimedia properties, search the transcript, or experience the in-progress feed.[2] Each media element is synchronized precisely (or as close as possible) to the actual mission time's master clock, Ground Elapsed Time.[3][4]

Apollo 17[edit]

The Apollo 17 project, which Feist began in 2009 and launched six years later[3] as a part-time hobby, was the first real-time site published. It includes raw audio from the onboard voice and air-to-ground communication channels in Mission Control that had been released by NASA, and film that had been collected by archivist Stephen Slater in the UK.[1] Apollo 17 in real-time contains 300 hours of audio, 22 hours of video, and 4200 photographs.[5] The alpha version of the Apollo 17 site was released in March, 2015,[6] and a reworked final version was released for the 43rd anniversary of Apollo 17 in December, 2015.[7] For the 44th anniversary, additional content was added, including 3D renderings of Lunar Roving Vehicle traverses using data from the Goddard Space Flight Center.[8]

Apollo 11[edit]

The Apollo 11 real-time site covers the period from 20 hours prior to launch until just after recovery,[9] and includes 11,000 hours of Mission Control audio, 2,000 photographs, mission control and in flight film, and 240 hours of space to ground audio, as well as information on each of the lunar surface samples collected by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.[3] For the Apollo 11 project, about 50 audio channel recordings were included,[1] enabling viewers to select among every control position in Mission Control and other communication loops, such as the Guidance officer, the capsule communicator, and the flight dynamics officer.[4]

On the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, Space.com simulcast the live feed from the Apollo 11 in real-time site.[10]

Apollo 13[edit]

Gathering historical materials for the real-time site for Apollo 13 took a team of researchers eight months.[11] Footage sourced includes all the mute 16mm film from Mission Control, supplied by Slater and synchronised to the audio wherever possible, and all the photos, film and television footage shot by the astronauts.[12] The video and audio for the project were digitized and restored by a team of historians, researchers, and audio, film and visual experts.[12] The Apollo 13 real-time site includes over 7,300 hours of audio and video.[13] Apollo 13 in real-time includes four audio tapes from the time of the explosion that had been missing and were only recovered from the National Archives in the fall of 2019. It is the first time this audio has been heard since the 1970 accident investigation.[12]

The Apollo 13 site launched on March 13, 2020,[14] in time for the 50th anniversary of the launch in April 2020.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Reichhardt, Tony. "Relive the Drama of Apollo 13 in Real Time, As It Happened". Air & Space Magazine. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  2. ^ "Escape Pandemic Dread by Experiencing the Apollo 13 Mission in Real Time". Gizmodo. 11 April 2020. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  3. ^ a b c Baldwin, Catherine (2019-07-12). "Apollo 11 in Real Time, 50 Years Later". NASA. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  4. ^ a b "Apollo 11: New website replays first Moon landing mission in real time". Space.com. 2019-06-18. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  5. ^ "Managing the Flood of Space Program Data". www.aps.org. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  6. ^ Feist, Ben. "Digitizing Apollo 17 Part 13 – Apollo17.org – Alpha Release v0.1". Ben Feist. Retrieved 2020-04-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Feist, Ben. "Digitizing Apollo 17 Part 15 – Apollo17.org v1.0 Launched for the Mission's 43rd Anniversary". Ben Feist. Retrieved 2020-04-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Feist, Ben. "Digitizing Apollo 17 Part 16 – New Apollo17.org, 44th Anniversary Edition". Ben Feist. Retrieved 2020-04-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "'Apollo 11 in Real Time' website replays every second of historic mission". Big Think. 2019-07-16. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  10. ^ July 2019, Tariq Malik 20 (20 July 2019). "Relive the Apollo 11 Moon Landing Mission in Real Time!". Space.com. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  11. ^ Grush, Loren (2020-03-13). "This website lets you relive Apollo 13 in real time through historical transcripts, footage, and audio". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  12. ^ a b c Strickland, Ashley (11 April 2020). "Experience the Apollo 13 mission in real-time during its 50th anniversary". CNN. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  13. ^ "Apollo 13 was a near-disaster that became a triumph — now you can experience it in real time". CBC Radio. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  14. ^ "Apollo 13 in Real Time is now live!". NASA History Office (Twitter). March 13, 2020.

External links[edit]