Apollo 11 Restored Video
"This restored video is a valuable contribution to space exploration and space communication history"
- Neil Armstrong
In July 1969, six hundred million people, one-sixth of mankind at the time, witnessed the historic Apollo 11 moonwalk live on television.
This DVD contains the complete 2009 restoration of the historic TV broadcast, produced by NASA for the Apollo 11 40th Anniversary. It includes newly discovered footage not seen by the public since 1969.
At the time, three tracking stations were receiving the TV signals from the Moon. They were the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope and the NASA tracking stations at Honeysuckle Creek in Australia and Goldstone in California. As the signals were being received they were recorded onto magnetic data tapes.
The TV signal that was transmitted directly from the Moon was of a non-standard format that had to be scan-converted on Earth before it could be broadcast worldwide. The scan-conversion process produced a lower quality version of the TV pictures. It was this version that was witnessed by the world and archived by NASA.
Beginning in the late 1990's, and later formalised by NASA in 2006, searches were undertaken to find the original data tape recordings and recover the higher quality TV. The Apollo 11 Tape Search Team reluctantly concluded in 2009 that these data tape recordings no longer existed. Fortunately, during the search, many of the very best scan-converted recordings were discovered in various archives around the world. These were digitised and the best parts of each were used to compile a complete recording of the Apollo 11 moonwalk.
The bulk of the footage was sourced from the signals received by the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, but it also included new, never-before-seen footage sourced from the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station.
In 2009, NASA contracted the California company, Lowry Digital (a pioneer in video enhancement), to process and restore this recording. The restoration involved digitally repairing damaged sections of the recordings, removing noise from the video, correcting for vignetting, stabilising and brightening the TV picture and other adjustments. The result is the best and most complete video record yet of the Apollo 11 moonwalk.
As Neil Armstrong has stated, "this restored video is a valuable contribution to space exploration and space communication history".
Selected Scenes from the Restored Video
The Apollo 11 Tape Search Team of Stan Lebar, Bill Wood, Dick Nafzger, Colin Mackellar and John Sarkissian, gratefully acknowledges the invaluable support and assistance provided by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in the search for the magnetic data tapes and in the production of this restored video.