Many years ago when I actually beleived in and trusted government I thought landing on the moon was the best and coolest thing any government had ever done. Now I find out the idiots at NASA lost or erased the tapes of the moon landing! It takes government to really screw things up!
NASA: Original moonwalk footage likely lost
Newly-restored tapes of first moon walk released, but the original tapes were likely recorded over.
by Anne Ryman - Jul. 16, 2009 11:56 AM
The Arizona Republic
NASA released restored video from the historic Apollo 11 moonwalk taken from television broadcasts, but officials admitted that the original footage was likely recorded over sometime in the past and is no longer available.
The footage released today shows short portions of four videos that will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen pictures of that momentous even on July 20, 1969.The black-and-white images show astronaut Neil Armstrong coming down the stairs of the lunar module and another of astronaut Buzz Aldrin stepping down from the spacecraft.
The short segments also show the two reading a plaque that they left on the moon, and the historic raising of the American flag. At the time, the goal of Apollo 11 was to land astronauts on the moon and return them safely to Earth.
"Television was something we hoped for," said Richard Nafzger, a NASA engineer who oversaw the television processing and was only 28 at the time.
The new footage was shown for the first time during a televised press conference on Thursday.
He described the live televised event as "frightening" because there was no backup camera, and everything had to go perfectly to have a live transmission.
The newly released tapes are part of a larger restoration project expected to be complete in September at a cost of about $230,000. Lowry Digital, a Hollywood-based digital restoration company that has worked on such film classics as Casablanca and Star Wars is doing the restoration.
NASA had to rely on broadcast video because officials were unable to find the original films.
"We searched for the tapes everywhere," Nafzger said.
It's unclear exactly what happened to the Apollo 11 tapes, but Nafzger said they likely were saved for a few years and then erased and recorded over, something that is not unusual for space missions. As for why someone failed to recognize the historical significance and save the tapes, he didn't have a good anser.
"Boy, do we wish they'd done that," he said.
The missing tapes, coupled with NASA partnering with a Hollywood studio for the restoration, could fuel conspiracy theorists, who believe the moon landing never took place and was staged for political purposes. NASA officials said they are not creating anything new during the restorations. The new images simply are more clear and detailed that what was originally broadcast.
That said, "conspiracy theorists are going to believe what they want to believe," said Mike Inchalik, president of Lowry Digital, Burbank, Calif.
NASA officials said the three Apollo 11 astronauts have not yet seen the restored footage.
The newly restored video can be viewed on NASA television at: www.nasa.gov/ntv. The footage is being shown on the hour until 4 p.m. today and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Arizona time.
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