… Maybe …. Sorta….
We’ve been burned by this one before. As you will recall, the claim was made that the visuals we all saw of the first steps on the moon by humans were a black and white compressed image sent from Australia, shown on a TV at Mission Control (or someplace) and then shot with an old fashioned TV camera (they only had the “old fashioned” ones back in those days, of course).
But, we were told, high quality color videos were taken at the same time but then lost right away. Then, we were told, they were found.
Then we were told by other people who seemed to know what they were talking about that these higher quality tapes did not exist, could not have existed, because the camera needed to make them was not sent to the moon on that first trip.
Well, now we have something directly fro NASA:
WASHINGTON — NASA will hold a media briefing at 11 a.m. EDT on Thursday, July 16, at the Newseum in Washington to release greatly improved video imagery from the July 1969 live broadcast of the Apollo 11 moonwalk.
The release will feature 15 key moments from Neil Armstrong’s and Buzz Aldrin’s historic moonwalk using what is believed to be the best available broadcast-format copies of the lunar excursion, some of which had been locked away for nearly 40 years. The initial video released Thursday is part of a comprehensive Apollo 11 moonwalk restoration project expected to be completed by the fall.
The Newseum is located at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. The news conference will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency’s Internet homepage.
It will be very interesting to go back and examine what everyone has said in relation to what actually happens. This NASA news release says nothing about color, for instance. Nor does it say anything about “lost” tapes … just that tapes were in the archive.
So, it is quite possible that the original story is sorta true … that what was sent out for all to see during the event was crap (for reasons described, more or less) but it wasn’t lost, just not shown (or maybe it was lost and NASA prefers to use the term “in the archives” for “we lost it”).
Why didn’t they just show the higher quality tapes back in those days, like, after the astronauts returned or at some other time? Well, if you recall, and you probably don’t, this whole obsession with quality on the video screen simply did not exist back in those days. We felt lucky to have a magic moving picture box at all. Many people had Black and White TV’s even in the late 1960s, and a very large percentgae of American households did not even have a TV at all.
OK, well, actually, in 1970, just over 90 percent of housholds in the US had a TV, but fewer than 10 percent had a color TV, according to this.
I guess we shall see. Or not.