September 2012 Archives

Saving History Before It Is Gone

Fading History: Vintage Films And Photos Crumbling To Dust, Forbes

Between 1966 and 1967, NASA sent five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft to the moon to capture images before the arrival of Apollo 11, which landed on the lunar suface July 20, 1969. Forty years later, while preparing for the historic anniversary, NASA began a frantic search for those images after a well-publicized loss of the original video of the Apollo 11 landing. Fortunately, the Lunar Orbiter tapes were found. Because the compatible tape players hadn't been manufactured since 1975, it took a multi-year effort to refurbish a player in order to read the obsolete tapes. The results were stunning images at digital resolutions never seen before.

Lunar Orbiter 3 Image 3113_H1

This newly retrieved high resolution image, frame 3113_H1, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 3 on 19 February 1967 at 07:53 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter 3 Image 3110_H3

This newly retrieved high resolution image, frame 3110_H3, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 3 on 19 February 1967 at 04:28 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter 3 Image 3110_H1

This newly retrieved high resolution image, frame 3110_H1, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 3 on 19 February 1967 at 04:28 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter 3 Image 3025_M

This newly retrieved medium resolution image, frame 3025_M, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 3 on 15 February 1967 at 13:32 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter 3 Image 3117_M

This newly retrieved medium resolution image, frame 3117_M, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 3 on 19 February 1967 at 11:23 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter 3 Image 3113_M

This newly retrieved medium resolution image, frame 3113_M, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 3 on 19 February 1967 at 07:53 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter 3 Image 3096_M

This newly retrieved medium resolution image, frame 3096_M, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 3 on 18 February 1967 at 11:01 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter III Image 3005_M

This newly retrieved medium resolution image, frame 3005_M, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 3 on 15 February 1967 at 10:00 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter 2 Image 2072_H3

This newly retrieved high resolution image, frame 2072_H3, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 2 on 20 November 1966 at 02:12 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter II Image 2072_H2

This newly retrieved high resolution image, frame 2072_H2, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 2 on 20 November 1966 at 02:12 GMT at 16:49 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter II Image 2072_H1

This newly retrieved high resolution image, frame 2072_H1, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 2 on 20 November 1966 at 02:12 GMT at 16:49 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter II Image 2070_H2

This newly retrieved high resolution image, frame 2070_H2, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 2 on 20 November 1966 at 02:12 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter II Image 2070_H1

This newly retrieved high resolution image, frame 2070_H1, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 2 on 20 November 1966 at 02:12 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter II Image 2053_H3

This newly retrieved high resolution image, frame 2053_H3, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 2 on 19 November 1966 at 19:13 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Lunar Orbiter II Image 2051_M

This newly retrieved medium resolution image, frame 2051_M, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 2 on 19 November 1966 at 19:13 GMT LPI reference. Images: [large at LOIRP] [Very Large at NASA NLSI]

Searching for SMART-1 Impact Site

SMART-1 Impact Site on the Moon

"On the morning of 3 September 2006, a brief flash illuminated the Moon's 'Lake of Excellence' as ESA's SMART-1 mission met its fate on the dusty surface. Launched in 2003, SMART-1 was the first European spacecraft to travel to and orbit the Moon. Short for Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology, SMART-1 used ion propulsion to journey to the Moon, tested new techniques in communications and navigation, and carried a battery of miniaturised scientific instruments. It completed a comprehensive inventory of key chemical elements in the lunar surface, mapped impact craters, studied the volcanic and tectonic processes that shaped the Moon, and investigated sites for future exploration."

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