Image Collection: From a Garage to NASA

| 19 Comments

Image below: The FR-900 drives in Nancy Evan's garage - the first time we saw them in February 2007. Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

More images below

Image below: Closeup of the FR-900 drives in Nancy Evan's garage - the first time we saw them in February 2007. Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

Image below: The FR-900 drives in Nancy Evan's garage had some neighbors living a few feet away. Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

Image below: Interior of one of the FR-900 tape drives before refurbishment began. Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

Image below: Loading the tapes into our rental trucks in April 2007. Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

Image below: The rental trucks that Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing drove up to NASA ARC from Southern California with the tape drives and data tapes in April 2007. Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

Image below: Lunar Orbiter tapes in boxes on storage pallets. Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

Image below: A Lunar Orbiter data tapes being opened for the first time in 40 years. Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

Image below: Half of the total collection of Lunar Orbiter data tapes. Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

Image below: Dennis Wingo, Co-Lead of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) at work processing images retrieved using the FR-900 tape drive. Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

Image below: McMoons at NASA ARC - home of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

Image below: ANother view of McMoons at NASA ARC - home of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

Image below: Keith Cowing, Co-Lead of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) standing next to the FR-900 tape drive shortly after it was first powered up. Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

Image below: Austin Epps (L) and Ken Zin (R) standing next to the FR-900 tape drive shortly after it was first powered up. Copyright Credit: MOONVIEWS.COM. Reproduction prohibited without obtaining prior permission.

19 Comments

Excellent work! These images have unequaled resolution (so far). I had thought the tapes degraded, lost or destroyed, or at the very least, unreadable due to lost devices to read them. Didn't some of the readers get stolen?

magnificent Thank you!

This is astonishing stuff. Thanks and congratulations to all involved for preserving some priceless history!

Wow. Tape drives. This REALLY looks like a Lab, run by Scientists.

Congratulations to the team! This is absolutely astounding. Talk about luck coming together in finding the tapes and the machines.

There is a story that some IBM data tapes are being recovered in Australia from the Apollo missions relating to moondust.

The big missing piece is the collection of slow-scan TV original recordings on instrumentation tape. I can play those tapes, but I don't have the video decoder.

This is all so exciting...nothing like recovering this just about at the last minute. The magnetic record on tapes does not degrade unless it's exposed to magnetic fields, but the machines, the knowledge about the machines, and the tape chemistry all degrade much faster than the actual magnetic record.

Cheers,

Richard

Wow, I used to eat at the McDonnalds at Moffett and now it's a computer room.... Great work everyone!

You did it! You did it! You did it!
Contratulations.
I've wanted to see this for decades.
(I didn't really think when I tried to post a comment last night you'd actually gotten the tapes, a drive and gotten them working!)

Now for the Lunar Orbiter 3 image with Surveyor 1 and it's shadow!

Great job.. Its great to see foresight protect old equipment like this. The chances all this info would have been lost forever are unimaginable if someone didnt take the hardware home instead of breaking it down. She deserves a medal or something for having the foresight to save this.

You would have thought NASA would have sent this to the Smithsonian for storage and not just throw it away. Even odder that they would keep the tapes but throw away the reader...

The Question begs to be asked.. are there more of these types of tapes from the 60s and such without readers? Or can this reader read those tapes. is there data from the Apollo missions that maybe is this same condition sitting and unused, and on the edge of being lost forever.

why did McDonald's leave this location?

Editor's note: not enough customers.

Hi,
Thanks for your efforts! The restored and enhanced images look wonderful, better resolution and more natural looking. Can't wait to see the "photo of the century"...Copernicus.
Regards,
John Kirchhoff
Hudson, MI USA

you said....Now for the Lunar Orbiter 3 image with Surveyor 1 and it's shadow!


Ok.... Anything Surveyor is indeed wanted at this end...

As a kid saw it being built at Hughes...
Ed Sharpe, Archivist for SMECC
www.smecc.org

Great to see! Thanks for sharing.

I suggest that you use torrents file sharing technology to share the restored pics and films, for saving them to the future generations.

greetings from Sweden

this is so precious and significant.. thanks for all who make this possible.. lovely

Surfed onto t his site from the John Lear web site and am astounded by the work and dedication these guys have down in order to preserve the data that wasonce considered lost, maybe a fine tooth search should be made of all NASA facilities to see if any tapes reamin and have them logged and set in a secure place for future acess, who knows if a BEST OF tape was made of the Apollo 11 slo-scan moon vid and it is langushing away in some mis-labled can in a OHIO wharehouse.GOOD JOB

Thank you for doing this!

Two of my most-prized items in my book collection are "The Moon as Viewed by Lunar Orbiter" and "Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon". Thank you for preserving these originals!

Incredible work. I still remember doing a report on the Apollo11 project as a kid in the late 70s, and I became an early fan of astronomy and still remember looking at the moon one night, on our way home from a family dinner. Congratulations to the entire team. words fail to describe nancy evan's tenacity of storing the tape drive readers in her BARN for two decades. Merely unbelievable. Belated thanks to NASA and the bureaucrats for finally waking up, and righting past wrongs and oversights.

I have to wonder how hard it would be to make a new tape drive that can read that media. Seems to me that the critical thing would be either finding an original read head, or having the specs for the correct head gap.

-jcr

When did you move into the McDonalds? The date says April 2007, but I worked at Ames when the restaurant closed in April 2008.

You guys did excellent job getting the FR-900 to send data to your Macs. The images are amazing.

Allan

any updates coming ?

LOIRP
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