Keith Cowing: In this excerpt from the 25 August 1966 edition of LO BUGL (The Lunar Orbiter Bugle) the Lunar Orbiter team eagerly awaits the first pictures of the Earth taken by Lunar Orbiter 1 – and how fiction and artistry are about to become reality.
Click on image to enlarge
Related link: Coming Soon: The LO BUGL: Online After 47 Years
Keith Cowing: We have obtained more than 160 pages of the “LO BUGL” i.e. The Lunar Orbiter Bugle. This internal newsetter was produced by NASA, JPL, and Boeing staff during 1966-1967 while the Lunar Orbiter missions were underway. These newsletters contained unofficial news, notes, gossip, jokes, and all of the other sorts of things that a NASA mission team shares with itself – but not necessarily with the public. These newsletters were published using mimeographs and some scanning wizardry will be required to make them all readable online. Stay tuned. Click on image to enlarge.
Dennis WIngo: We’re on a hiatus while we wrap up the loose ends of Lunar Orbiter II. Austin is painstakingly going through all of the captures and all of the images to make sure that we have everything and to find where we may have a gap or two that we can close in an image by re-running a tape. This will be complete by the end of this week and we can run any residual tapes and then recalibrate the FR-900 for the Woomera Lunar Orbiter V tapes.
Dennis Wingo: WE ARE DONE WITH LUNAR ORBITER II PRIMARY CAPTURES!. All we have to do is some clean up of a few gakked framelets.
Here are the final tapes and images captured.
M2-089, partial capture LOII-2049H
M2-090, partial capture LOII-2047M, complete capture 2048H
M2-091, partial capture LOII-2046M, complete capture 2047H
M2-092, partial capture LOII-2045M, partial capture 2046H (completes image)
M2-093, Not Used, redundant with Woomera Tape
M2-094, partial capture LOII-2045H (Completes image)
M2-095, partial capture LOII-2043M, complete capture 2044H, 2042M
M2-096, complete capture LOII-2043H
M2-097, partial capture LOII-2041M, partial capture 2042H (completes image)
It will take several days to get everything into the back end queue and figure out what our final capture rate is, but it looks like we only had five bad tapes out of over 300 LOII tapes for about a 99% capture percentage, which is astounding considering how long it had been since these had been originally recorded.
More next week when we start on LO-V!
The segment on LOIRP starts at 12:00 in this video
Dennis Wingo: Mid afternoon 6-19-13. We almost had a catastrophe yesterday. These tapes sometimes shed large chunks of oxide and this happened on tape M-91, one of the Scotch tapes. We had been observing a lot of shedding of material and that had clogged up the vacuum system, which Ken cleaned out. However, there was a large chunk wedged between the control track head (which is a separate head used to read the servo information) and the tape guide. This disrupted the geometry of the tape and contributed to getting a short length of tape sliced in two. It also created a terrible head clog (which kills all the signal from the tape from a single head of the four).
Ken disassembled the head, found the foreign matter and removed it. He also had to re-align the control track head and use a strong solvent to remove the foreign matter from one of the head tips. We are back up and running as of this afternoon as I had to go to the DMV today and in California that takes forever.
We did two tapes yesterday before the problems and I am on one today right now. It is late in the day but we should be able to finish our Madrid Scotch tape captures before I head off on a short vacation to go backpacking in the high Sierras.
Dennis Wingo: Andrew Ball from ESA visited us today to collect his large Lunar Orbiter image as a thank you gift for his financial support of our project.
Dennis WIngo: Status early afternoon: The FR-900 tape driveis down for the want of a 2″ long 11/64th ID piece of tubing. This is inside of the head and routes the vacuum from the vacuum pump that pulls the tape up against the female guide on the tape machine. This vacuum keeps the tape in a proper shape for the disk shaped head assembly that is spinning at several thousand RPM to not cut the tape to ribbons. This small part failed after two tapes this morning. Ken Zin is going to Grainger and can hopefully get the piece of hose without having to buy a whole 50′ roll! Seven more tapes to go.
Dennis Wingo: As those who have followed these statuses know I am now running the Scotch tapes from the Lunar Orbiter II archive. Things are going ok so far, here is our status as of the end of the day today. There have been significant overlaps with both Madrid and Goldstone that have cut down the amount of tape we have had to run by at least 40%. We have had to run each tape, but for not as long as we would have had to otherwise. This is good.
Dennis Wingo: We ran two more Goldstone tapes today that we had captured in 2010 but for some reason did not have today. These were G2-093 and G2-095.
We also figured out that some of our images that we did not have in our print out that we actually do have so we have more images complete that we thought. I am going through in detail now and comparing times and dates to see what overlaps there are between Madrid tapes and Woomera and Goldstone so that we can minimize the number of these Scotch tapes we have to run. I will have that done in the morning…
So now I can confidently declare that we have captured all of our Goldstone and Woomera tapes from LOII and just have the 18 Madrid tapes to go or some subset of them.
Original caption: St. Louis, Mo. — RECTIFYING A LUNAR PHOTO — Mr. Ralph Wilson of the U.S. Air Force Aeronautical Chart and Information Center uses photographic equipment to rectify a composite of Lunar Orbiter Photos. Rectification is accomplished by tilting the composite on the easel until the crater and other features can be photographed at a predetermined angle. (U.S. Air Force Photo).
Keith Cowing: I found this photo on eBay. As you can see it was warped. So I used Photoshop to do a quick “rectification” so as to present the photo as it would have looked if it was laid flat. Back in the Lunar Orbiter days they did not have Photoshop – so they had to use this mechanical / optical process – one that had a clear military heritage.
Click on top image to enlarge.