Feeds

NASA mislays original moon landing footage

Tape archive goes awol

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

NASA has mislaid the original recordings of the Apollo 11 moon landings, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The magnetic tapes of the recorded transmissions were stored in 700 boxes and, despite a year of searching, have failed to turn up.

The tape material - shot by a camera atop the Eagle Lander - is reckoned to be a much higher quality than the famous TV images of Neil and Buzz claiming the lunar surface for the US. This is because NASA's equipment was incompatible with that of the television networks and, after transmission to tracking stations on Earth, had to be displayed on a monitor and reshot on a normal camera. The resulting degradation in quality is evident.

The original tapes were, according to The Guardian, delivered a year after the landing to Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, and haven't been seen since.

NASA spokesman Grey Hautaluoma admitted: "We haven't seen them for quite a while. We've been looking for over a year, and they haven't turned up. I wouldn't say we're worried — we've got all the data. Everything on the tapes we have in one form or another."

John Sarkissian of the Parkes Observatory in Australia, who is part of the NASA tape-search team, told Space.com: "I would simply like to clarify that the tapes are not lost as such. We are confident that they are stored at Goddard...we just don't know where precisely."

However, if NASA does eventually manage to track down the material, the result may be nothing more than a face-saving exercise. Goddard's data evaluation lab is the only facility with the equipment to play back the tapes, and is scheduled for closure in October. And, even if the playback machinery were still available, Sarkissian added that the tapes are "so old and fragile, it's not certain they could even be played". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.