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The Hackers Who Recovered NASA's Lost Lunar Photos 89

An anonymous reader sends this story from Wired: "The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project has since 2007 brought some 2,000 pictures back from 1,500 analog data tapes. They contain the first high-resolution photographs ever taken from behind the lunar horizon, including the first photo of an earthrise. Thanks to the technical savvy and DIY engineering of the team at LOIRP, it's being seen at a higher resolution than was ever previously possible. ... The photos were stored with remarkably high fidelity on the tapes, but at the time had to be copied from projection screens onto paper, sometimes at sizes so large that warehouses and even old churches were rented out to hang them up. The results were pretty grainy, but clear enough to identify landing sites and potential hazards. After the low-fi printing, the tapes were shoved into boxes and forgotten. ... The drives had to be rebuilt and in some cases completely re-engineered using instruction manuals or the advice of people who used to service them. The data they recovered then had to be demodulated and digitized, which added more layers of technical difficulties."
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The Hackers Who Recovered NASA's Lost Lunar Photos

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  • Re: Hackers (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @04:34PM (#46827395)

    This is why there has always been a distinction among the technocrati between hackers (people who like figuring things out) and crackers (who figure out the exploits for personal gain).

    You're absolutely and completely positively right, "hacker" can't have two meanings... except that there are many words in the dictionary with 2 or more meanings.

    The technocrati dislike words with multiple meanings, so they tried to make multiple words for the concepts. But nobody listened, and now we're stuck with it. Want to fight it? Use the words as originally designated, not as mispopularized.

    Of course, that would mean that you would have to back off from your misunderstanding, and there's no possible way you could ever be wrong, so we have to deal with the impreciseness.

    Good job.

  • by excelsior_gr ( 969383 ) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @04:42PM (#46827455)

    After reading the headline I thought that the lost Lunar landing footage was recovered, but it is sadly not the case.

    The actual story is still pretty cool, however.

  • Re:Hackers (Score:4, Informative)

    by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <jwsmythe@jws[ ]he.com ['myt' in gap]> on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @05:56PM (#46828063) Homepage Journal

    Ah. Well, that's one of many. You'll also find "a person who chops wood", and the occasional uses of "a low quality writer" and "a taxi driver" Those last two are usually hacks, not hackers, but I've heard them referred to both ways.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.