HONORING THE LUNAR ORBITER IMAGE RECOVERY PROJECT
HON. ZOE LOFGREN
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Monday, April 27, 2009
Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California. Madam Speaker, I rise to commend the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project and all those who have contributed their time and effort to ensure that historic images and vital data from the Lunar Orbiter missions of the 1960s are not lost to future generations.
In 1965, Charles Byrne, an engineer with Bellcomm, Inc., had the foresight to propose that NASA record data from the Lunar Orbiter missions onto tape recorders. NASA agreed and the images returned from the Lunar Orbiters were backed up on AMPEX FR-900 tape drives. To date, these images are some of highest resolution images we have of the Moon. Those images include a high-resolution version of “Earthrise,” the first picture of the Earth from the Moon’s vantage point. Time Magazine has called this image “the photo of the century.” The tapes also contain the first stereo imagery of the Moon’s surface. Indeed, these are some of the best images of the Moon ever taken, far superior from those received from the Hubble telescope.