On July 20, 1969, the space agency completed the seemingly impossible mission to land a man on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin achieved President John F. Kennedy’s goal and ended the space race when they landed at Tranquility Base. Armstrong jumped off the Eagle lunar lander six hours later and gave his “one small step” speech in front of the millions of people watching anxiously on Earth before Aldrin joined him 20 minutes later.
It was recorded in slow-scan, meaning it had an output of 10 frames per second and therefore could not be broadcast directly on television.
According to NASA, the images were converted for broadcast and transferred to a satellite, then transferred to Houston before being broadcast on commercial television.
As live streaming worked and was recorded extensively, preservation of the backup video was not deemed necessary in the years following the mission.
NASA admitted in 2019: “An intensive search of the archives and records concluded that the most likely scenario was that program officials determined that it was no longer necessary to keep the tapes – since all videos have been saved elsewhere – and have been erased and reused. “
In the 1980s, NASA’s Landsat program faced a severe shortage of data tapes, so it is believed that the tapes were later erased and reused.
NASA reiterated that there was no missing Apollo 11 footage since video transmissions were relayed to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston during the mission.
The agency restored images of the landing and released them in 2009 for the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11.
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“So just in case someone thinks there’s a video that hasn’t been seen, it isn’t. “
NASA hasn’t lost any of the Apollo footage – only the original tapes with those footage.
This is not the first time that incredible images of the event have been discovered.
Released in 2019, “Apollo 11,” produced by Todd Douglas Miller, took the event centered on grainy images and revolutionized it to Hollywood cinematic heights.
Speaking in 2019, Mr Miller said: ‘This is how it all really started, could we tell this story of Apollo 11, using only archival material? “
“The [Mr Slater] was working on this really crazy idea of trying to synchronize the mission control footage with the air-to-ground transmissions that were available to the public, and it was really tedious work – important nonetheless because it only makes the footage come alive. .
“If there was to be a medal for sync or archiving work, Stephen Slater would have to get it. “