Dave Scott’s flown camera grayscale wheel carried into lunar orbit during the Apollo 15 mission, measuring 5.75″ in diameter, featuring a range of twenty-seven shades of gray, signed and flight-certified on the reverse in black felt tip, “Lunar surface index chart used for 6 days in lunar orbit, Apollo 15, July 26-Aug 7, ’71, Dave Scott, Apollo 15 CDR.” Reverse bears an affixed color coding chart listing the twenty-seven specifications and color variants. In fine condition. Accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Scott, in part: “I hereby certify that the Apollo 15 lunar 'Color Chart' included with this letter was used in Lunar Orbit for six days during the first extended scientific exploration of the Moon, July 26-August 7, 1971…As the mission commander of Apollo 15, I was in charge of the handling, use and dissemination of the Flight Data File, as such, this 'Color Chart' has been in my personal collection since NASA presented it to me upon our return to Earth." This color chart was conceived and designed by Dr. Faroul El-Baz at Boston University's Center for Remote Sensing as a means to identify the varying degrees of depth, scale, and orientation of images captured while photographing from high above the lunar surface. When early Apollo lunar missions showed that astronauts were not fully prepared to describe the lunar colors with accuracy, the creation of a device to better characterize lunar color became paramount. Based on the Munsell Color System, the wheel focuses on the dimensions of hue, chroma, and value, with spacing of color founded on human visual response, observations of which are a function of three factors: location in lunar orbit, sun angle, and viewing angle. Signed by the Apollo 15 mission commander, this color wheel provides unique insight into how astronauts were able to differentiate the rugged and homogeneously colored lunar landscape.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.