During my time at Palomar I had the pleasure corresponding with Blake. I also sent him one of the Palomar Observatory shirts that we designed. On the back was this:
|The 200-inch mirror in the Caltech Optical Shop. Photo by Blake Mitchell|
Every few seconds a photo was taken and rapidly transmitted back to Earth over and over before the spacecraft hit the Moon. The resulting movies were pretty dramatic:
Check out this narrated NASA video for a more detailed movie on the program.
Blake Mitchell was 88 years old. He was possibly the last person left alive that worked on the 200-inch mirror at Caltech. I never met him in person, but I miss him and extend my condolences to his family.