A History of George Robert Carruthers

George Robert Carruthers was an astronautical engineer and astronomer. Although he passed away late last year, his work and legacy live on.

via Air and Space

The camera that George designed, built, tested, and patented in the 1960s met all the requirements for an Apollo lunar surface experiment. It was small, lightweight, powerful, easy to use, and, most of all, had to be operated by a human and required that the individual bring home the goods. It was an electronically amplified photographic camera. Decades before the advent of powerful solid-state sensors, photo-chemical photography was the main means of faithfully recording images that could yield scientific data. Yet, photography was highly inefficient. So, to view faint objects in the heavens, a bigger telescope was needed. A larger telescope would not fit on sounding rockets, satellites, or Apollo, however. The most competitive solution was to find a way to amplify the incoming light signal so that photographic recording was possible. That’s what George did. He didn’t invent the concept, but the design he applied proved to be highly efficient, reliable, and easy to use.

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