Arts & Culture

New Exhibit Features Historical Film Footage Of NASA Space Program

It’s a “blast from the past” for many Houstonians.

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Picture of the Manned Spacecraft Center
Many of the exhibit’s movies document the operations of the Manned Spacecraft Center in the 1960s.

Though some of the movies in the latest exhibit by the Texas Archive for the Moving Image may seem a little campy now, they were a big deal at the time they were made.

A Journey to the Moon through Texas includes 39 archived films related to the NASA space program during the 1960s, specifically from Apollo 4 to Apollo 11.

"It's heavy, detailed coverage of everything that was going on at NASA and at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston," explains TAMI's Afsheen Nomai, who was responsible for digitizing the hours of film donated by Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene last year. "I started going through the films and they were fascinating. I had no idea that these types of films even existed," he said.

Pictures of astronauts
The exhibit includes rare footage of the astronauts involved in NASA’s Apollo Space Program in the 1960s.

They include everything from industrial films to home movies of rocket launches and space center tours. It's the first time most of the footage has been readily available to the general public. One film even includes Doris Day in what appears to be a short safety film for employees.

Nomai sees it as a way of bringing recognition of the space program through a new lens.

"I hope it brings a deeper appreciation or understanding for the work that went into the Apollo program," he says. "But at the same time, also building excitement about space. We're still venturing out there and learning about our solar system and the planets around us. Maybe this can also help get people excited about what we're continuing to do."

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