Not signed in (Sign In)
  1.  (6364.41)
    So, apparently, to get that high-def quality footage linked above, NASA had to literally SCOUR THE EARTH for copies of the footage, BECAUSE THEY RECORDED OVER THE ORIGINAL COPIES. So awesome.

    "It was a mistake, no doubt about that," Launius said. "This is a problem inside the entire federal government. ... They don't think that preservation is all that important." Launius said federal warehouses where historical artifacts are saved are "kind of like the last scene of `Raiders of the Lost Ark.' It just goes away in this place with other big boxes."
    My heart just leaped for joy after reading that. I'm now officially re-convinced of a belief I last held in elementary school that there are huge government warehouses with endless stockpiles of ancient magical artifacts that the Nazis almost conquered the world with, amongst other treasures.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2009
    So just a thought, what can we do as (for the most part) non-rich non-scientists do to promote a return to human exploration of the moon?
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2009

    They recorded over the originals because they took up thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of tapes. Once the information was out there and easily retrievable again (or so they though), they were recorded over and used again because it saved NASA millions of dollars. According to Phil Plait:

    There were rumors that NASA had found tapes that were lost years ago, and these showed the Apollo 11 footage in unprecedented detail. These rumors are false.

    The deal is that the telemetery from Apollo was downlinked from the Moon to two radio telescopes in Australia and one in the U.S. The data were recorded on tapes and then processed. The tapes themselves were stored for some time, but after the data were secured it was deemed that the original tapes were no longer needed. They were wiped and reused for LANDSAT and Shuttle telemetry — we’re talking hundreds of thousands of tapes here, so reusing them saved NASA a lot of money. That decision may seem silly now, but at the time was deemed necessary.

    So no lost tapes were found, and no previously unseen footage has been found. What we’re seeing here is broadcast footage that has been digitally restored.


    I think there are two things. Firstly, supporting non-government space agencies through investment and such will be a huge factor. Space X just launched the Falcon successfully, and other independent firms seem to be doing very well. I say that because, as I said in the "What's Wrong with NASA Thread" a few months back, I don't think NASA itself is getting enough raw funding.
  2.  (6364.44)
    It's, uh... still ridiculous. Surely you understand the importance of maintaining the original sources.
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2009
    I can understand why they'd do it though. Once they have the data, I can understand the need to cut costs.

    The LRO has snapped photos of the landing site!

  3.  (6364.46)
    This site is awesome. I could just sit here all day looking at it.
  4.  (6364.47)
    @Looneynerd -
    Those photos are really astonishing.
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2009
    9 days too early for NASA to celebrate it's 11th birthday. I remember watching this on TV. I loved the bright mock-ups apologizing everything wasn't in color from the moon.
    • CommentAuthorAdeBrown
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2009 edited
    I was six years old.

    So, I went to bed one night, in that room with flying machines on the wall or suspended in Airfix, and a poster of George Best intended to instill me with a love of good football rather than Manchester United. As I remembered it, I had no idea why my Dad was waking me up in the middle of the night, but I must have been watching the landing before bed time, so I am probably recalling the half-asleep confusion that you get when woken from a deep sleep. However, I can remember going down the corporation standard staircase into the living room where a yellow vinyl three piece suite faced a television with a "wood-effect" shutter.
    And I can remember that shutter being drawn back to reveal images of two men inside a spaceship that looked nothing like the uncluttered formica cubicles of Gerry Anderson's early work. Actually it was rather like Thunderbird 5 with legs, wasn't it? It was time for them to leave the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) and walk on the Moon.
    • CommentAuthor/
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2009 edited
  5.  (6364.51)
    I was four, nearly five. We watched the live broadcast on my grandparents' huge old cabinet TV, then my grandfather took me outside after the coverage, so we could see the full moon. Grandpa was a bigwig government engineer and bona fide polymath, and he showed me exactly where on the Moon the lander was sitting.
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2009 edited

    Good Deal.

    Let's all come together over Buzz Aldrin punching a moon landing denier in the mouth.
    • CommentAuthor/
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2009 edited
    @ orwells_eyes - Heh, I think that's the first time I've actually seen that. :)
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2009
    Anyone else find it delightfully fitting that the 40th Anniversary of the landings falls on a Monday which, in Scandinavia, started out as Moon-Day?

    Happy Moon-Day everyone.
  6.  (6364.55)
    Happy anniversary. We're throwing a thing tonight, I think. Lots of drinking. There might also be a moon theme, we haven't decided.
    • CommentAuthorOxbrow
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2009
    Nobody has walked on the Moon in my lifetime. For such a key to the future to be a thing of the past seems plain wrong.
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2009 edited

    There's some great stuff on Youtube today in honour of the anniversary, including some of the hi-res images discussed upthread. The above gem is via Andy Diggle's Twitter.
    • CommentAuthorOxbrow
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2009
    It's now 40 years since Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, almost to the minute. Goodnight, Earth.
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2009
    I just got back from the moon party. Awesome. Hopefully pics to follow.
    • CommentTimeJul 21st 2009 edited

    No party for me, alas. But here's a scanned contact print from Apollo 14. I scored a few contact sheets back in my NASA days. Moar behind the pic and I hope to scan and post the rest tonight.