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NASA has tantalisingly announced that it will release "greatly improved video imagery from the July 1969 live broadcast of the Apollo 11 moonwalk" on Thursday.

The agency reports: "The release will feature 15 key moments from Neil Armstrong's and Buzz Aldrin's historic moonwalk using what is believed to be the best available broadcast-format copies of the lunar excursion, some of which had been locked away for nearly 40 years."

We assume the footage in question is gleaned from the original magnetic tapes recorded by the Parkes Observatory in Australia, and which belatedly turned up in a storage facility in Perth.

In 2006, NASA admitted it had mislaid the tapes which were supposed to be in its Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland. As a result, the world has (until Thursday, we hope), had to make do with NASA's inadequate copy of the original broadcast, captured on 16mm film from a monitor screen. ®

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