Sunday, November 16, 2008
In 1966 and 1967, NASA flew five Lunar Orbital missions around the Moon to find potential Apollo landing sites and to map the Moon's polar regions. These missions were incredibly successful and managed to record 99% of the surface. The analog data streams, which contained audio, photo and telemetry information were recorded to magnetic tape back on Earth and largely forgotten. Forty-three years later, the retired caretaker of those tapes is working hard to get the data transferred from a antiquated media and discovering some pretty amazing stuff in the process. NASA just posted a press release on the effort on Thursday. You can read about the recovery effort, and see pictures as they're recovered, on their website, www.moonviews.com. Appropriately, the first recovered photo they released a newly found copy (twice the resolution of the one released in the 60s) of the iconic Earthrise photo. I can't wait to see what else they find on these tapes.