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Monday, July 19, 2021

Voices of Apollo 11


"The Ultimate Tribute To The Fallen Heroes Who Took Us To Moon"

"Metsavainio has created a ‘voices of Apollo 11’ artistic masterpiece to immortalize the mission and its target forever."

The Voices of Apollo 11

 are now part of the Moon forever

Click for the larger version of 2500 x 2500 pixels.

Image shows the full Moon made entirely out the text of the transcript of the onboard voice conversations of the Apollo 11 mission. There is nothing else in this photo-based image. Just letters. 

A close up of the top of the artwork shows just letters from the authentic voice transcription of Apollo 11 Command Module recorder data.

The Voices

I downloaded NASA's original full transcript of Apollo 11's onboard voice conversations. The idea was to turn this text into an image of the Moon. After a few weeks of intense work at a feverish pace my tribute was ready. Now the Moon is made up entirely of Apollo 11 voice transcription letters. 

This is also a tribute to the entire Apollo 11 team: Commander Neil A. Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot 
Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.


I was most gratified and deeply moved when Michael Collins —the Apollo 11 & Gemini 10 astronaut, author, explorer and artist— tweeted following kind words about my work on April 19th, 2021:  

The news of his passing, just nine days later, hit me all the harder — a very emotional moment for me. Out of the blue, I got inspired to create this artwork. I absolutely had to do it right away, which I did. 

Michael Collins was affectionately referred to as “the loneliest man in history” for being the command module pilot who flew solo in space behind the Moon and without radio contact with anyone while his colleagues, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, set foot on the Moon for the first time in history. Michael was also an artist. His iconic photos made from Moon orbit are true art and part of mankind's greatest cultural heritage treasure.

A similar solitude gripped me while I was creating this tribute image. For being an astronomical photographer and a visual artist often is a very lonely job. Especially this time as I was deeply emotional throughout my creative process for this artwork. Even though I never met him personally, the end of his Earthly mission meant more to me than I was prepared for. I needed to make this photo-based artwork to process the inner storm of my thoughts and feelings.

The Landing Site

The Apollo 11 landing site is marked by two red letters.


1-minute 4K video about the "Voices of Apollo 11" artwork. Please watch in full screen for the best viewing experience.
The music "Fly me to the Moon"

Frank Sinatra's 1964 recording of "Fly Me to the Moon" became closely associated with NASA's Apollo space program. A copy of the song was played on a Sony TC-50 portable cassette player on the Apollo 10 mission which orbited the Moon,[44] and also on Apollo 11 before the first landing on the Moon.[45] Source Wikipedia,

Material used for the artwork

Apollo 11 onboard voice transcription

Click to download the PDF-document, 5.5 MB

My photo of a Full Moon
Click for a larger image.

I used my twenty-year-old photo of the Full Moon to create this text based artwork.