The Acquisition and Curation Office at JSC has a 4 year project to digitize photographs of the Apollo lunar rock samples and create high resolution digital images. The images will be scanned at 2540 ppi (100 pixels/mm) and 16-bit depth, which captures 10 micron features and the full dynamic range of the original film. These high quality photographs of the lunar rocks, often referred to as “Mug Shots” were taken before the rocks were processed. Additional pictures were taken as the rocks were subdivided for study. The initial set of photographs included 6 orthogonal views (4 sides, top and bottom) and an orthogonal set of 16 stereo pairs. Samples that were studied extensively have over a hundred photographs.
This is a data restoration effort for the lunar science community as many of the rock sample photographs are not easily accessible outside of JSC, and currently exist only on degradable film or as low resolution digital images. There are approximately 45,000 images that will be digitized. They will be available on the Curation website as high resolution tiff images described above and as print resolution jpeg files. The database will be searchable on a variety of parameters, such as sample or photograph number. This imagery of the rock samples together with the electronic versions of the Lunar Sample Catalogs will provide a valuable resource for preparing requests for lunar samples. It will also provide a means to easily review multiple views of lunar rocks in a convenient manner.