Apollo Orbital Photography
Photographic mapping of the Moon continued during Project Apollo. The final three flights—Apollos 15, 16, and 17—carried metric mapping and panoramic cameras during their long-duration stays in lunar orbit.
The lunar mapping and panoramic cameras were mounted in the Apollo Scientific Instrument Module (SIM) bay of the Service Module on Apollos 15 through 17. The cameras and other science experiments in the SIM bay were operated by the Command Module Pilot in orbit while his colleagues were on the lunar surface.
While obtaining orbital photographs of the Moon, a laser altimeter measured the distance to the surface. In addition to tracking data from Mission Control, a stellar camera photographed a star field with each frame of the terrain cameras to record the spacecraft’s orientation and position. The areas covered with each terrain photograph overlapped so that mapmakers could compile a comprehensive chart of the ground track.
Final Apollo Flights
The final three Apollo flights took nearly 10,000 photographs with mapping cameras and approximately 4,800 panoramic images.
Deep Space EVAs
Command Module Pilots retrieved film cannisters from the SIM bay during an extravehicular activity (EVA) after leaving lunar orbit. The EVAs were performed in deep space, over 190,000 miles from Earth.