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NASA Science

NASA Uploads Hundreds of Rare Aircraft Films to YouTube ( 61

An anonymous reader shares an article: NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center is currently in the process of uploading hundreds of extremely rare films to YouTube. And I'd advise you to stop reading if you want to get any work done today. The center has uploaded roughly 300 of the planned 500 films that it will continue to put up over the coming months. And as you can see from the well-populated YouTube channel, they have everything from 1950s experimental aircraft like the X-3 Stiletto to 1960s Lunar Landing Research Vehicle tests (seen in the GIF above) to videos of the time that they intentionally crashed a Boeing 720 in 1984.
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NASA Uploads Hundreds of Rare Aircraft Films to YouTube

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  • the interesting link (Score:4, Informative)

    by jerome ( 3086 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @12:59PM (#54853357)

    • It is nice that they took the trouble to put these up. But 480p? Plus it looks like the source is interlaced and they didn't merge the fields properly. Considering that most of these look like old film reels couldn't NASA clean them up and get us some high definition videos?

      I guess they don't pay the NASA archival guys nearly enough.

      • by Ichijo ( 607641 )
        Let's hope they just wanted to get something up quickly and will replace them with higher quality versions once they've had a chance to clean, rescan, and digitally restore the original films. 16mm films should give us sharp but grainy 1080p video, while 35mm is good for up to 4k.
      • They need to get McGee from NCIS to click the "Enhance" button. Are you even serious right now?
        • by sound+vision ( 884283 ) on Friday July 21, 2017 @09:28PM (#54855923) Journal
          Yes, he is serious. The film cameras these would have been shot on do not interlace. If the YouTube videos look like they have gone through a bad deinterlacing filter, that implies some things. The uploaded copies are at least two generations removed from the source material. Probably what happened is that the source material was converted to NTSC some time in the pre-digital era, which would be done for TV broadcast, or to make VHS tapes.

          You don't need to have a magic Enhance button, but you do need to go to the original source material (assuming it is available) to be a competent archivist.
          • I'm willing to bet my life against a dollar that you don't know what was available as source material, and are therefore talking out your paper asshole.
            • It does not take a genius to recognize film dirt and scratches. Look at the XB-70 videos for example:

              Vertical scratches and specs of dirt on film. If it was horizontal white noise scratches then it would have been tape. The video also seems to have heavy amounts of dithering in it possibly from the video encoding filter. Magnify the video to full screen and when there is movement you will see the horizontal line band tearing typical of interlaced video. So, like the other gu

            • I don't know what they had available to them, and yet that has no bearing on anything I said. I'm sorry that you can't be educated without being butthurt.
      • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )

        I guess they don't pay the NASA archival guys nearly enough.

        Exactly. Those that are in archival/history positions are few, have tons of stuff with no time to sort through it all, and have to beg for places to put it. Then there's others with duties that have nothing to do with archiving but yet they have lots of stuff. Not proper to take it home but have to deal with limited office space so where to put it all. Perhaps in some warehouse like shown in the end of Raiders of Lost Ark movie. It will be safe but nobody will find it ever again.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In the lifting body section, they left out the crash that almost killed Col. Steve Austin - and of course right after, NASA/OSI made those films about Col. Austin's missions.

    The question is, why are they trying to hide it now? I blame the Trump administration! The Russians obviously have something to with it. Austin is now working for the Russians?

  • It took them 40 years to scrub out all the grays managing the projects.

  • By definition a "film" is a one off. And as soon as it makes it onto the internet, rare is an oxymoron.

    • Maybe they're films about rare aircraft, rather than rare films about aircraft.

    • You do know that 1) the originals were on film so technically they are films. 2) the "rare" part is that very few people had them. In this case only NASA has these films so they are "one-offs" by your own definition. In contrast, how many films existed of the Challenger explosion. A few because there were more than a few members of the public that filmed it. NASA looked all footage when trying to asses what happened.
    • And as soon as it makes it onto the internet, rare is an oxymoron

      Not at all true. For all the bits floating around the internet having a single video posted on a single site definitely fits the definition of rare.

    • Er, I'm not sure you would find that definition in a dictionary. Of course, you did do the air quotes, so "film" can pretty much mean whatever you want.

      Nevermind, carry on.

  • The Internet Archive is a better way to upload videos to be archived.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp