NASA Addresses Controversy Over 'Lost Tapes' of Apollo 11 Moonwalk

Space.com | 7/11/2019 | Passant Rabie
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As a former one-time NASA intern prepares to auction off videotapes that allegedly contain original recordings of the first moonwalk, NASA released a statement addressing claims that the agency lost the footage from the Apollo 11 mission.

The search for the "lost tapes" began in 2006, when reports began surfacing that NASA had erased some original footage from the first moon landing. The agency conducted an intensive search at the time, but could not find the tapes.

Search - Archives - Records - Scenario - Program

"An intensive search of archives and records concluded that the most likely scenario was that the program managers determined there was no longer a need to keep the tapes — since all the video was recorded elsewhere — and they were erased and reused," NASA officials said in the statement.

Three tapes containing original footage from the moon landing are up for auction.

NASA - Footage - Apollo - Video - Transmissions

However, NASA reaffirmed that there is no missing footage from Apollo 11 since the video transmissions were relayed to the Manned Spacecraft Center (now known as Johnson Space Center) in Houston during the mission, according to the statement. Video from those tapes was converted to a format which could be broadcast on television.

The footage was recorded in slow scan, meaning that it had an output of 10 frames per second; therefore, it could not be directly broadcast on television. According to NASA, the footage was converted for broadcast and uplinked to a satellite, then downlinked to Houston before it appeared on commercial television.

Agency - Footage - Anniversary - Apollo - Moon

The agency restored the footage and released it in 2009 for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon mission.

"There was no video that came down slow scan that was not converted live,...
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