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Archive for July, 2009

40th Anniversary of Apollo 11

Friday, July 17th, 2009

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(image courtesy of NASA)
The 40th anniversary of the first moon landing is kicking up a storm on the Internet. There are a variety of sites and services to look at if you’re interested in more information about this particular piece of history.
The most spectacular is We Choose The Moon, a project of the JFK Presidential Library, which is streaming telemetry and communications between ground control and the spacecraft in real time–which is to say that as of this moment, the crew will land on the moon in a little over seventy-seven hours and they are two hours away from a course-correction burn. There is a live audio stream of conversations between Houston and the spacecraft, but you can also follow the conversation on Twitter (Capcom or the capsule).

NASA also has a photo gallery; some of these photos appear in a photo essay in this week’s Boston Globe’s Big Picture column. My favorite is above.

For the sordid story of how NASA for several years lost the original footage of the moon landing and then found it in time to have it restored, see this Associated Press story. When asked whether restoring the original tapes would contribute to conspiracy theories about the landing, the president of Lowry Digital (the company doing the restoration) said “if there had been a conspiracy to fake a moon landing, NASA surely would have created higher-quality film.” The argument from bureaucracy is almost always the conclusive one.

You can also watch a digital facsimile of the original news coverage of the landing at kottke.org, starting at about 4:10 EDT on Monday July 20th. Kottke also has a much more comprehensive list of resources than this meager post.
Tisch Library has a variety of things which might be of interest: