Thursday, 16 July 2009

Restored Apollo 11 Footage

It seems there was one small incorrect detail in my last blog entry. Reports that the original Apollo slow-scan video tapes have been found and restored turn out to be wrong. Instead, the restored footage is the same broadcast material we've already seen. The results are nice enough and previews can be found in HD at nasa.gov.

Here's the kicker though: The original slow-scan master tapes were apparently deliberately erased by NASA to save money. I'm not joking. The best record of one of the defining moments of our species was purposely destroyed by the very organisation that made it happen. I'm still reeling from this news. It's a disgrace that beggars belief.

Human history includes numerous instances of historical records and monuments being deliberately destroyed. Most of these instances have rightly been accompanied by public condemnation. Where is the outcry over this NASA debacle? Who is being held to account? Why did I see this story in the New Zealand media while cnn.com, nasa.gov and other American sources conveniently bury or gloss over it?

The conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this one (happy birthday Richard Hoagland). Can you blame them? The decision to erase the tapes is so inexplicable that it's very tempting to wonder if there really was some ulterior motive.

Oh well, I guess I'll try my best to enjoy the new footage. Hard to see it as anything other than a bitter disappointment though.

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