Kodak retirees reminisce about working on the Apollo program

Jul 19, 2019

Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on Saturday, Eastman Kodak is celebrating its part in that historic event.

Kodak had an important role in the Apollo million, including designing the cameras that helped map potential landing sites prior to the 1969 moon landing,

The company invited retirees who worked on that program to the Kodak Center on West Ridge Road on Friday to do some reminiscing.

Among them, Robert Shanebrook, who worked on the camera the Apollo 11 astronauts used to photograph rocks and other features on the lunar surface.

“The plan there was for the astronauts to be able to hold the camera like a walking stick, set it on the lunar surface, pull a little trigger, an electronic flash went off and created a stereo photograph of the lunar surface," Shanebrook said.

Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Also at the Kodak reunion was photographer Alex Baker; some of his photos of new NASA spacecraft covered the walls of the exhibit area at the Kodak Center.

‘So the future’s happening now and I thought it was just super important to give it that nostalgic feel. Kodak has the history of all the old stuff and I think they should be involved going forward. So that’s what we’re hoping to do going up to 2024 and hopefully even further," Baker said.

Even with the dominance of digital photography, Baker remains a big fan of Kodak film, and he hopes to continue documenting the plans for future space travel.

Interview with former Kodaker Robert Shanebrook about the Apollo Lunar Surface Close-Up Camera: