Neil Armstrong & "The Lost Apollo 11" Footage
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August 28, 2012

Neil Armstrong & "The Lost Apollo 11" Footage

 

            Armstrong-on-moon

 

After a three-year search for the lost Apollo 11 tapes and an exhaustive six-year restoration project, digitally remastered footage of the historic Moonwalk was completed in 2010. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated tape restoration team, the enhanced footage surpasses the quality of the live broadcast that stunned an international TV audience on the day of the historic event in 1969. We've posted the video below In honor of Neil Armstrong's (image above) life and accomplishments.

A five-minute highlights reel (below) exhibits a number of the Moonwalk's most remarkable moments including Neil Armstrong's descent onto the lunar surface; the raising of the 'Stars and Stripes'; and the famed phone-call between astronauts Scott Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and President Nixon.

"What we have now is the clearest record of the Apollo 11 Moonwalk TV for future generations," said Colin Mackeller, an Apollo 11 historian who edited the footage and was a member of the restoration team.

On the day of the Moonwalk, three tracking stations - NASA's Goldstone in California, and Honeysuckle Creek and Parkes Observatory in Australia (featured in 2000 movie The Dish) - were tasked with recording the live footage transmitted from the Moon. The images were captured by a single small video camera, attached to the lunar module, but the camera used an unusual format, slow-scan television (SSTV), which is incompatible with commercial television broadcast.

As a result, the SSTV transmission had to be converted in real-time into a standard broadcast signal before being sent to the NASA flight centre in Houston for distribution to the TV networks.

As Armstrong began his descent of the ladder, problems with equipment settings at NASA's Goldstone which had its settings wrong and resulted in a dark, blurry picture being televised worldwide. While technicians in America rushed to rectify the problem, Australian networks acted quickly by switching to the clearer feed coming from Honeysuckle Creek. Having seen the Australian feed, Houston switched as well, just in time for the world to see the indelible image of Armstrong stepping down onto the Moon's surface.

Some of the best footage of the 1969 Moonwalk. This film was lost in Australian archives for many years and was badly damaged when found. ( Mackellar's highlights reel begins with the original dark Goldstone footage but a few second in it switches  to the Honeysuckle Creek picture to show a much clearer image of Armstrong on the ladder.

When the Apollo 11 Tape Search and Restoration Team was formed in 2003, the intention was to track down the tapes onto which the unconverted SSTV was first recorded. It was hoped that with modern conversion techniques a picture could be produced that hadn't been degraded by the accumulative effects of conversion and satellite transmission.

However, a three-year search for the SSTV tapes proved fruitless. It transpired that NASA had taken all the original tapes and erased them for use on subsequent missions. Resigned to the fact that the original SSTV tapes were lost forever, the restoration team set about tracking down the highest quality footage among the converted recordings of the first broadcast.

Another painstaking search followed, but within several years an astonishing number of long-forgotten tapes had been amassed from various archives. While the more badly degraded tapes would require extensive restoration work - including the only video from Honeysuckle Creek of Armstrong descending the ladder - the team had cause to celebrate.

Once the best footage had been pieced together, NASA contracted a specialist film restoration company to enhance the degraded black and white film and convert it into its current digital format.It is anticipated that the full two and a half hours of restored footage will soon be made available to the public.

 

                        

The Daily Galaxy via cosmos magazine and NASA

Comments

I said it before and I'll say it again.

"Let me see if I have all the facts straight... It's July 20, 1969. The Unites States is neck-deep in a Cold War Space Race with the Soviet Union. It is the first time in the history of all mankind that humans not only land of the moon but actually walk upon it's surface, and somehow someway NASA loses or destroys the original video footage?! Argueably, the most MOMENTUS accomplishment in the history of mankind and we either lost or destroyed the original video footage…? This is an honest-to-goodness, "You have got to be shitting me!" moment..."

Then you'd better not ask why we quit building Saturn-B rockets - or what exactly happened to every freaking copyof the bluprints for said Saturn-B rockets - all ONE of them.

Karthick, Neil Armstrong is in that picture as well.

2nd paragraph: "and the famed phone-call between astronauts Scott Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and President Nixon."

C'mon guys, really?

I know some in the rich planet programmes it has been said that the Apollo 11 astronauts were not allowed to reveal that when they were on the moon there were other beings already there with them and as they were going to the moon there was another craft trailing them. One of the astronauts did admit it in person to someone, though. If you see a news conference with the astronauts soon after they returned from the moon, you would expect them to be in a celebratory mood, but they were not. If the authorities wanted to cover up about the existence of these other beings, is a reason why some of the footage could have been "lost".

Amazing really, we had the technology to get to the moon, but not to make a decent quality film recording!

I agree w/ AtlasW -we are SUPPOSED 2 BELIEVE the MOST IMPORTANT FOOTAGE in human history was lost for over 40years,then it had 2be 'RESTORED' for an ADDITIONAL 2years...LUCKY NASA found that old film box BS...the 'OFFICIAL STORY' does NOT ADD UP.Jason also BROUGHT UP the QUESTION of the -trailing craft-&-other beings- REPORTED&RECORDED both live real-time moon communications w/ EARTH -MILLIONS of us heard the oringional TAPE- THEY WERE NOT the ONLY 'ONES' on the MOON. MORE BS from NASA covering up 4 the US MILITARY'S TRUTH EMBARGO on EXTraTERRESTRIAL CONTACT -we know parts of the TRUTH- wish our FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Whom we FUND would be HONEST &tell us About ET CONTACT. MAYBE the feds don't HAVE enough information 2 tell us the TRUTH.

et did not trail the earthlings , we were merely acting as worthy conductors

Jason,

I think they meant "Lance" Armstrong. Livestrong!

Why does the one astronaut look so much smaller than the other in those final frames?

Look closely as the one runs around. Gravity doesn't seem right and I can see through the astronauts mostly from the waist down. This is a very poor editing job

Anybody who deals with media knows that the ONLY believable medium of events is the ORIGINAL. All copies and rebroadcasts can be manipulated or altered. Now, why would NASA want to lose the original? Simple: If the secret of this faked mission was ever leaked, investigators would insist on the original for its actual record. Any other copies would be said to be "altered." NASA's defense of their integrity would be that the unaltered original tape is the only true record. Oh, by the way, we lost it.


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