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Has NASA Found the Lost Moon Tapes? 222

jra writes "For over 5 years, various people both inside and retired from NASA have been engaged in a quest. They were looking for the long-lost original slow-scan video tapes from the Apollo 11 moon landing, which went missing in a record-keeping snafu, covered in unreasonable detail in a Wired article a couple years ago. Well now, according to the UK's Sunday Express newspaper, some tapes may or may not have been found which may or may not be the Apollo video. Apparently — I love the British press — the NASA boffins are a bit put out that it leaked; they were hoping to blow everyone's minds with the scoop themselves."
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Has NASA Found the Lost Moon Tapes?

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  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Sunday June 28, 2009 @03:06PM (#28506095) Journal

    Everyone responsible for the loss should have lost their job and pension.

    It's possible that nobody was formerly responsible. The TV camera thing was kind of a last-minute decision because of concerns over weight, and thus no formal media archiving procedure was set up for it. The whole landing was kind of a rush-job to meet the deadline, and thus such "afterthought" details kind of fell through the cracks.

  • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Sunday June 28, 2009 @03:59PM (#28506517) Homepage Journal

    If there's data on them, it's data that was lost from some mission or other. There are plenty of missions (such as the Venus landings) where a bucket of extra data spools could provide massively valuable scientific data, even to this day.

    Now that the moon has been (at least partially, if not fully) mapped in high-def, and a host of other probes have been sent to collect all kinds of other data, moon tapes would be really more interesting from a historic standpoint. Nothing wrong with that, especially as staggering achievements tend to wake public interest and open the money taps, but from a scientific standpoint there must be huge numbers of reels of tape that would actually be of greater value to NASA.

  • Re:"Scoop" ? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 28, 2009 @04:30PM (#28506725)

    That's fine that you want to pay for NASA. I don't.

    It's unethical for you to vote away my money on projects that you think are cool.

  • Re:Hope (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 28, 2009 @06:10PM (#28507429)

    But pencil shavings break loose and float around. Nice material to have in your eye. :B

  • by jra ( 5600 ) on Sunday June 28, 2009 @08:20PM (#28508279)

    I don't, actually, agree with that in this case. As several people point out when asked to justify the cost of the moon program, we didn't pay for the *hardware*, that was incidental.

    We *paid* for *the knowledge we got by using the hardware*. Now, while, admittedly, this bit of lost knowledge is not as important as the *warehouses full of 7-track tape with data from {Voyager,Pioneer} that has never even been read* since being written, mush less converted to DVD/BD, and made available to the public -- because reading it requires machining new headwheels for the only *two* remaining drives which can read it (do you sense a pattern here?)... it's still important, and I think it would be a bit shortsighted to say "ah, hell, it's only the pictures from the vacation".

    Watching that happen created a whole new generation of engineers.

    It's not completely unreasonable to think that if they did find it, and they do release it -- oh, say, at the 40th anniversary celebration on 18-Jul at the Kennedy Center -- that seeing the coverage on the net, or on TV, might not inspire that 1 or 2% of teenagers left who aren't too cynical to care about *anything at all* into wanting to go to space...

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.