the coolest light meter…ever!

Wandering around the National Air and Space Museum last week, I found what is arguably the coolest light meter ever:  The Minolta Space Meter used by Neil and Buzz on Apollo 11 to set exposure settings for their photography while walking on the moon.  A light meter with moon dust on it!

According to the Smithsonian:

During the Apollo 11 lunar mission of July 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin carried this specially designed Minolta light meter on the lunar surface in order to acquire accurate exposure information quickly and easily. The silver metal casing reflected some of the harmful solar rays that could have overheated this sensitive equipment.

I can hear Sinatra right now:  “Fly me to the moon and let me play, among the stars….

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Apollo 11 Flight, General
Studio photograph of Apollo 11 One Degree Minolta Spotmeter (A19980022000) against a grey background, February 11, 20098. This light meter was used by Apollo 11 astronauts to set their camera exposures accurately in the stark lighting conditions of space.