WORLD EXCLUSIVE: NASA FINDS MISSING MOON LANDING TAPES


Sunday June 28 2009 by Ted Jeory

ECSTATIC space officials at Nasa could be about to unveil one of their most stunning discoveries for 40 years — new and amazingly clear footage of the first moon landing.
The release of the new images next month could be one of the most talked about events of the summer.

The television images the world has been used to seeing of the historic moment when Neil Armstrong descended down a ladder onto the moon’s surface in 1969 is grainy, blurry and dark.

The following scenes, in which the astronauts move around the lunar lander, are so murky it is difficult to make out exactly what is going on, causing conspiracy theorists to claim the entire Apollo 11 mission was an elaborate fraud.

However, viewers have only ever seen such poor quality footage because the original analogue tapes containing the pictures beamed direct from the lunar surface were lost almost as soon as they were recorded.

Instead, a poor quality copy made from a 16mm camera pointing at a heavily compressed image on a black and white TV screen has been the only record of the event.

The Sunday Express can now reveal that the missing tapes containing the original high quality images have been found.

If the visual data can be retrieved, Nasa is set to reveal them to the world as a key plank of celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the landings next month.

The tapes show in much more detail than almost anyone has previously seen the surface of the moon beneath the patriotic symbol of the US flag.

Crucially, they could once and for all dispel 40 years of wild conspiracy theories.

The low grade, dark and grainy television pictures that were beamed around the world on July 21 1969 were intended to give Americans just a glimpse of their country’s greatest exploratory achievement.

Technology at the time meant Neil Armstrong’s film, recorded using a special lunar camera, went through a series of processes, each of which marked a step down in quality before it hit people’s living rooms.

From the moon, the signal was beamed to the Earth’s closest tracking station at the Parkes Observatory in Australia where, along with other important data, it was recorded on to high-grade magnetic tapes.

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