NASA: Oops, We Erased the Moon Landing Tapes

Footage likely recorded over when tape supply was low
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 16, 2009 12:39 PM CDT
In this July 20, 1969, file photo, astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin poses for a photograph beside the US flag deployed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.    (Neil Armstrong, NASA)
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(Newser) – After searching 3 years for the original tapes of the 1969 moon landing, NASA officials realized they’d spaced: The footage had most likely been taped over, NPR reports. They picked through “racks of documents, tapes, all kinds of things from NASA and other agencies,” says a searcher, before it occurred to them that NASA had run low on tapes over the decades and had begun recycling them.

The original tapes featured the best recordings of the landing; they had to be converted to appear on television, which severely hurt the quality. But all isn’t lost: The searchers began combining the best television footage and enhancing it with help from Hollywood—so a better video of the milestone is on its way.

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