The Last Photo

August 7, 2018

 

Top: The only known photograph taken during Apollo 18's time in the Takla Makan desert is a single photo of Commander Ed Lovett. NASA analysts found the photo at the end of a roll of film still in one of the Hasselblad 500 EL EVA cameras. This photo is believed to have been taken on June 3, 1973 at approximately 10:00am (UTC + 8) Note the reseau plate fiducials (crosshairs) on the photo of Lovett in the desert.

 

The accompanying photo of Lovett on the moon during his fourth moon walk (May 30, 1973) was taken with the same Hasselblad camera.

 

In post-flight interviews, Command Module Pilot Bo Cunningham claimed he took the photo of Lovett in the desert. However, only Lunar Module Pilot Al Borden's and Ed Lovett's fingerprints were found on the camera.

 

Investigators also do not know why the roll of film was left in the EVA camera in violation of post-EVA protocols that required all film magazines to be removed from cameras and stored for re-entry and recovery operations.

 

Twenty-six hours after this photo was taken, Commander Ed Lovett was dead.

 

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