Education and Public Outreach: Lunar Orbiter and ISEE-3

This poster presentation by Keith Cowing and Dennis Wingo was produced for the NASA SSERVI Exploration Science Forum 21-23 July 2014. Click on image for full poster (PDF)

Introduction

Any space mission worth doing should have an education and public outreach (EPO) component. An EPO effort helps to efficiently disseminate information to those with a specific interest in a particular mission. Done properly it also serves as a means to spur interest in space exploration in general amongst a much broader audience. With the use of various Internet and social media resources an effective EPO effort can now reach an audience in ways that were not possible a decade ago.

In Part 3 of The Invisible Photograph, see how the "techno archaeologists" of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project digitally recovered the first photographs of the moon taken by a set of unmanned space probes in the 1960s. More information and Gigapan imagery.

Would-Be Rescuers of Wayward Spacecraft Previously Solved a NASA Mystery, New York Times

"Before reviving a zombie spacecraft, Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing traveled to the past to rescue a trove of early moon photographs that otherwise would have been destined for oblivion. They did not actually time travel, but that might have been easier. Mr. Wingo, an entrepreneur and an engineer, and Mr. Cowing, the editor in chief of the NASA Watch website, had confidence that they could decipher decades-obsolete NASA equipment, because, as Mr. Cowing said, "we've done this before." ... The earlier project involved 1,500 magnetic tapes and a couple of old, broken tape drives. In 1966 and 1967, NASA sent five robotic spacecraft, the Lunar Orbiters, to photograph the moon's surface to help find safe landing sites for the Apollo astronauts. The tapes, which recorded the original high-resolution images, and the tape drives ended up in the garage of a former NASA employee, and Mr. Wingo and Mr. Cowing embarked on a quixotic mission to retrieve the images."

LOIRP Film Premieres at Carnegie Museum of Art

Extraterrestrial: The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project

2-Minute Film Festival goes to the moon, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The lunar orbiter project is made up of "a group of dedicated space industry professionals who have worked for several years to digitally recover the first photographs of the moon and the first photographs of Earth taken from the moon," Ms. Heffley said. Their work site is an abandoned McDonald's on a NASA naval air station in Mountain View, Calif. When the Carnegie Museum film crew arrived in March, the team of techno-archaeologists had just digitized the final of the more than 1,400 magnetic tapes.

Extraterrestrial: The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project and The 2-Minute Film Festival

Join us for the world premiere of Extraterrestrial, Part 3 of The Invisible Photograph. Begin the evening with a look into the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project. See how a team of techno-archaeologists digitally recovered the first photographs of the moon, taken by unmanned space probes and used to determine the landing sites for the Apollo missions of the 1960s and the 1970s. Then join us in the Sculpture Court for a screening of finalists from this year's 2-Minute Film Festival, showcasing films that explore the concept of outer space--in two minutes or less. Picnic food and bar open in the Sculpture Court beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The Invisible Photograph, a production of the Hillman Photography Initiative, is a five-part documentary series investigating the expansive realm of photographic production, distribution, and consumption by way of the hidden side of photography.

8:15-9 p.m.- Screening of Extraterrestrial with Keith Cowing, co-lead of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project and Divya Rao Heffley, Program Manager of the Hillman Photography Initiative.

9:15-11 p.m.- 2-Minute Film Festival, back for the 4th time!

$10; includes one drink ticket!

Culture Club is sponsored by: Great Lakes Brewing Company, Macy's, and Bill Few Associates

LOIRP Imagery Featured in "Desert Moon"

Editor's note: "Desert Moon", by Jason Davis, premieres June 28, 2014 at the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium in Tucson. The "Earthrise" imagery retrieved by the LOIRP is featured in the final film. We hope to have a link to an online version at some point soon.

Trailer Note:

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy boldly declared that Americans would walk on the moon before the end of the decade. But at the time, scientists weren't even sure whether the moon's surface was solid, or just a thick layer of dust.

At the University of Arizona, an astronomer named Gerard Kuiper established one of the world's first laboratories dedicated solely to lunar and planetary science. His team built telescopes in the mountains above Tucson to create detailed photographic maps of the lunar surface that would help NASA land a man on the moon. Kuiper also became the principal scientist for the Ranger program, an effort to send America's first spacecraft to the moon. Ranger spacecraft intentionally crash-landed on the lunar surface, sending back high-resolution photos during their approach.

Desert Moon follows the origins of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, and follows the effort to map and understand the moon prior to Neil Armstrong's famous first step in 1969.

The documentary film features interviews with scientists who worked with Kuiper and helped kick-start the field of planetary science. Desert Moon debuts at Tucson's Flandrau Science Center in Spring 2014.

Scott Manley Visits The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project

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