Lunar Orbiter
Lunar Orbiter Tapes Found

The following data was supplied to us by Steve Jurvetson who has posted this on Youtube and Flicker....

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Youtube Link

From:  jurvetson
Added: September 22, 2008

Behind the counter of an abandoned McDonalds lie 48,000 lbs of 70mm tape the only copy of extremely high-resolution images of the moon.

These tapes were recorded 40 years ago as part of the Apollo program to map the lunar surface to plan landing spots for Apollo 11 onward. They have never been seen by the public because at the time, they were classified as they reveal the extreme precision of our spy satellites. Instead, all we have ever seen are the grainy photo-of-a-photo images that were released to the public.

The spacecraft did not ship this film back to Earth. Instead, they developed the film on the Lunar Orbiter and then raster scanned the negatives with a 5 micron spot (200 lines/millimeter resolution) and beamed the data back to Earth using yet-to-be-patented-by-others lossless analog compression. Three ground stations on Earth (one was in Madrid) recorded the transmissions on these magnetic tapes.

Recovering the data has proven to be very difficult, requiring technological archeology. The only working version of the Ampex tape player ($300K when new) was discovered in a chicken coop and restored with the help of the original designer. There is only one person on Earth who still refurbishes these tape heads, and he is retiring this year. The skills to read this data archive are on the cusp of disappearing forever.

Some of the applications of this project, beyond accessing the best images of the moon ever taken, are to look for new landing sites for the new Google Lunar X-Prize robo-landers, and to compare the new craters on the moon today to 40 years ago, a measure of micrometeorite flux and risk to future lunar operations.

See Also
NASA Robledo De Chavela Tracking Station near Madrid, Spain

Update: Story Officially Released
 


Pirate McDonald's
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Photo Credit: Steve Jurvetson

We discovered a most unusual covert operation in a McDonalds today… What could it be?

View Comments on this photo Here...

jurvetson says:

Bingo Rocketeer for spotting mission tapes and jerryfi_99 for guessing that imagery data would take this much space.

The Pirate flag is purely motivational, methinks, for a skunkworks improvising what was thought to be impossible.

Forty years ago, unmanned lunar orbiters circled the moon taking extremely high-res photos of the surface to plan landing spots for Apollo 11 onward... In this McDonalds, the only copy of that data is about to be resurrected. Erik and I dropped in for a visit after the LUNAR rocket launch at NASA Ames.

And gosh, Alieness may be right too when they look at those images carefully for three-toe footprints...

They have never been seen by the public because at the time, they were classified because they would reveal the extreme precision of our spy satellites. Instead, all we have ever seen are the grainy photo of a photo images that were released to the public.

The spacecraft did not ship this film back to Earth. Instead, they developed the film on the Lunar Orbiter and then raster scanned the negatives with a 5 micron spot (200 lines/millimeter resolution) and beamed the data back to Earth using yet-to-be-patented-by-others lossless analog compression. Three ground stations on Earth (one was in Madrid) recorded the transmissions on these magnetic tapes.

Recovering the data has proven to be very difficult, requiring technological archeology. The only working version of the Ampex tape player ($300K when new) was discovered in a chicken coop and restored with the help of the original designer. There is only one person on Earth who still refurbishes these tape heads, and he is retiring this year. The skills to read this data archive are on the cusp of disappearing forever.

Some of the applications of this project, beyond accessing the best images of the moon ever taken, are to look for new landing sites for the new Google Lunar X-Prize landers, and to compare the new craters on the moon from 40 years ago, a measure of micrometeorite flux and risk to future lunar operations.

And yes, the conspiracy continues, with McDonalds' long and sordid history with the Apollo program...


McMoon
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Photo Credit: Steve Jurvetson

View Comments on this photo Here...

Behind the counter of an abandoned McDonalds lie 48,000 lbs of 70mm tape… the only copy of extremely high-resolution images of the moon.

These tapes were recorded 40 years ago as part of the Apollo program to map the lunar surface to plan landing spots for Apollo 11 onward. They have never been seen by the public because at the time, they were classified as they reveal the extreme precision of our spy satellites. Instead, all we have ever seen are the grainy photo-of-a-photo images that were released to the public.

The spacecraft did not ship this film back to Earth. Instead, they developed the film on the Lunar Orbiter and then raster scanned the negatives with a 5 micron spot (200 lines/millimeter resolution) and beamed the data back to Earth using yet-to-be-patented-by-others lossless analog compression. Three ground stations on Earth (one was in Madrid) recorded the transmissions on these magnetic tapes.

Recovering the data has proven to be very difficult, requiring technological archeology. The only working version of the Ampex tape player ($300K when new) was discovered in a chicken coop and restored with the help of the original designer. There is only one person on Earth who still refurbishes these tape heads, and he is retiring this year. The skills to read this data archive are on the cusp of disappearing forever.

Some of the applications of this project, beyond accessing the best images of the moon ever taken, are to look for new landing sites for the new Google Lunar X-Prize robo-landers, and to compare the new craters on the moon today to 40 years ago, a measure of micrometeorite flux and risk to future lunar operations. 

Posted by Dr. X, on September 26, 2008 at 12:34 GMT , a Member of ATS...
Post ID 5032940

Greetings,

Zorgon's post is exactly true. Only the conspiracy theorists are false. Here is a brief overview of the Lunar Orbiter Data Recovery Project:

This project started in the late 1980's when the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) discovered a cache of the only known remaining set of Lunar Orbiter tapes in existence stored in a "salt mine." The story there is that there are abandon salt mines that store government records, as the temperature and humidity are stable. There was some documentation attached indicating what they were and that JPL should be notified as to what their ultimate fate should be. JPL took possession of them in about 1988 or so, as there was some interest in recovering the data so that the images could be digitized and made available to the general public as the pictures were then a bulky 2000, 28" x 30" prints. The problem at that point was that no one knew what technology created the tapes so the format and method was unknown. At the time a private consulting firm became aware of the project and decided to research the issue with the purpose of proposing a data recovery project. After amassing all the Lunar Orbiter literature available, it was determined that the Ampex FR900 tape recorder (the first real video tape recorder), was used to create the tapes. More importantly it was revealed that the data was in an analog format with the video in a format called “Vestigial Sideband Filtered", slow scan TV. This knowledge set about the search for any source of FR900 tape drives. The search covered NASA sites, Vandenberg’s Pacific Missile Range at Kwajalein, the CIA and Egland AFB's radar test site in Florida. Ultimately a total of four tape drives were obtained and as far as is known, are the only remaining drives of their type in the world.

The next problem was to determine if the drives would read a tape without destroying it. After numerous calibrations and experiments on spare tape, it was determined that it would be safe to try one of the Lunar Orbiter tapes. This was done and the specified video spectrum was obtained which proved the capabilities of the drive and that the data on the tape was still there. However, in order to obtain the video from the data, a circuit called the VSB decompressor (or "restorer"), needed to be designed and constructed. This was done and a recognizable sync pulse with video data was retrieved.

This was all accomplished in about 1992. Since then several proposals to NASA and various private sources failed to produce the money required to recover this data. So the tape drives were stored in a "chicken coop" (actually it was a garage / barn combination), for the next 15 or so years. Last year a call was made form the person in the video (who I will only identify as "D" until I can obtain his permission to release his name - though I don't think this mission is actually a secret), called to ask about the tapes and the tape drives as he had some contacts that might be able to help. After visiting the "chicken coop" and ascertaining that the tapes were still at JPL's storage facility, he then made arrangements to transport both to a site in Northern California from the Los Angeles area, which he did. He then assembled a crew of experts in various fields and located a site to carry out his low budget "proof of concept" which turned out to be a McDonalds, which was located on a military base, that was closed due to poor attendance after a government cutback. As it turned out, each of the little tables, normally used for enjoying your "Happy Meal", were excellent workbenches for the various projects associated with bringing the drives back to working condition.

This then is pretty much where it is today. Once five full images are recovered, then the "Proof of Concept" will have been achieved and further funding may follow.

Someone mentioned that Google might be interested. Well they are, and they have visited the site. 

Some information that might be of interest:

The products of the original LO project were:
Tape: 2" wide tape that contained all the mission data. There are about 2,000 of them

GRE file: Ground reconstruction 35mm film that were the reconstructed picture "framelett" data
About 30 of these make up one of the 28" x 30" prints.

Prints: The prints are about 28" x 30" in dimensions

There are 4 kinds of data on the FR900 Lunar Orbiter tapes:
Video: From sync to sync represents one scan line. There are 4 scan lines per meter on the surface at best resolution.
There are about 16,600 scan lines per framelett and there are about 30 framelett's per print.

Telemetry: Another channel in the video data is for telemetry, which reports on the status of the satellite.

Carrier: In order to reconstruct the original video data the carrier must be available.
But because it was suppressed by the VSB processing, it was divided by 8 and stuck in the lower sideband.

Audio: There is an audio channel that the various sites recorded the tape ID on as can be heard in the video.

Film in refrigerator:
Some have said that storing film in a refrigerator would extend its life. This is true only for unexposed film.
For exposed film, it is best to have a stable temperature and humidity, cold has no effect.

Tape storage in canisters in picture:
Note that the canisters in one of the pictures with the yellow tape. These are the 2" wide original LO tapes and
are in excellent condition. What is not in the picture are the GRE film, which were also with the tapes.

Pirate Flag:
The pirate flag was placed on the window was for fun as it was seen by some that this mission was going on
oh, shall we say, by any means possible. More for humor I am sure.

If you want more info let me know.

~ Dr. X ~ 

Posted by warpboost, on September 26, 2008 at 15:18 GMT, A Member of ATS...
Post ID 5033652

I don't think there's anything really strange about these guys being resourceful, and using an abandoned McDonalds for their makeshift workspace until they get some real funding which they mention in the video. From what little research I did I understand the McDonalds is located at Nasa Ames Moffett field which has basically been closed.

I found this on the wiki entry for Moffett field

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moffett_Federal_Airfield

Moffett Field's facilities available to residents include a pool, post office, golf course, tennis courts, gas station, and several small shops and restaurants, including an on-site McDonald's which closed April 30, 2008.

I bet you could use google maps local live to get a good look at the place is you're really curious 

Moffett Federal Airfield
NASA AMES Reseasrch Center
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Image Credit: Google Earth

Moffett Federal Airfield (IATA: NUQ, ICAO: KNUQ), also known as Moffett Field, is a joint civil-military airport located 3 miles (5 km) north of Mountain View, in Santa Clara County, California, USA. The airport is near the south end of San Francisco Bay, north of San Jose. Formerly a United States Navy facility, the former naval air station is now owned and operated by the NASA Ames Research Center. Tenant military activities include the 129th Rescue Wing of the California Air National Guard, operating the HC-130 Hercules, MC-130 Combat Shadow and HH-60 Pave Hawk aircraft, as well as the adjacent Onizuka Air Force Station and Headquarters for the 7th Psychological Operations Group of the U.S. Army Reserve. NASA also operates several aircraft from Moffett, including the ER-2, a civilian research version of the U-2.

By far the most famous and visible sites are hangars #1, #2, and #3, which dwarf the surrounding buildings. Hangar One is one of the most remarkable hangars in the world[citation needed]. Hangars #2 and #3 are significant more for their size than their unique styling or design. Hangar One is a Naval Historical Monument and the entire airfield is a United States Registered Historic District.

In May, 2008 The National Trust for Historic Preservation listed Hangar One on their list of America's Most Endangered Places.

The NASA Ames site is home to several wind tunnels, including the Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel (a National Historic Landmark), and the National Full-Scale Aerodynamic Complex (NFAC).

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United States Federal Aviation Administration
FAA airport diagram for NUQ (Moffett Federal Airfield) in California, United States.
Pirate McDonald's at Moffat Field
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Abandoned McDonalds at Moffet Field
+37° 24' 33.58", -122° 3' 17.26"

The location was provided by Dr. X, who came to post at AboveTopSecret.com in response to this release and shared information with us.

Posted by greeneyedleo, on September 28, 2008 at 02:27 GMT, a Member of ATS...
Post ID 5040431

I dont think this has been posted yet:

Facilities

Despite its closure as an active military base, Moffett Field still has many active facilities and residents. Active military families still live on Moffett Community Housing, and the former base has several lodges which primarily house academics and students associated with the Ames Research Center. Moffett Field's facilities available to residents include a pool, post office, golf course, tennis courts, gas station, and several small shops and restaurants, including an on-site McDonald's which closed April 30, 2008.

SOURCE: Wikipedia Moffett Federal Airfield

So there IS a closed McDonald's on that base....well, according to Wiki 

Also, looks like there might be a lack of storage on that base, which might answer why they would be in a McDonalds:

Status of former military buildings

Many of the buildings at Moffett Field which once supported its active military presence have been abandoned and left standing due to asbestos contamination within the structures

SOURCE: Wikipedia Moffett Federal Airfield

I have no opinion on this, but I find it all very interesting...and wanted to provide this information 

Posted by purpleivan, on September 28, 2008 at 06:30 GMT, a Member of ATS...
Post ID 5040901

Looks like the McDonalds at Moffett Field has been closed for the last 5 months.

CLOSED: McDonalds
596 Edquiba Road, Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA, 94040
(650) 962-0321
THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED
Sadly, this McDonalds was closed April 30, 2008
Source: zvents.com

Additionally here's a photo of the outside of the place... 

McDonald's at Moffat Field
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Photo Credit: noytrinos (Flicker)

... that shows the same kind of shrubbery around the place as can be seen through the windows in interior photos.

Another longer distance shot. 

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Photo Credit: Darby; School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Here's a shot from the corner of the NASA Exchange Lodge into the parking lot.  You can just make out the McDonalds in the background.  That's right, Moffett Field has a McDonalds on base!  It's gotta be the only McDonalds on the planet that closes at 7pm. - Darby (Summer 2002)

Finally some reviews of this particular Mc D's that adds a little colour to the place and suggests that although attached to Moffett Field, it's not a secure military location, just somewhere that had become available.
 - purpleivan

Erik Charlton's photos of the Pirate McMoon
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Photo & Text Credit: Erik Charlton
Ampex Tape Player
The only way to capture the 70mm Lunar data was via one of 2 refurbished Ampex tape readers. 

Biotron says...
aaahhh - the astonishing FR-900 :) 12.5 nanosecond response! - SOURCE

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Photo & Text Credit: Erik Charlton
Image Build
The team is using a workstation to integrate all of the images into a unified lunar map. Here he is showing an example of the resolution that was shown publically. All we have ever seen are these grainy photo-of-a-photo images. The high resolution images have never been seen publically, because when they were developed in the 1960s, they were classified (revealing the extreme precision of our spy satellites). [Image on Screen LO-1-102]

offtothemoon says:
This entire post is 100% wrong and needs to be taken down. Furthermore, this image of me was taken without my permission and is in violation of the law. - SOURCE

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Photo & Text Credit: Erik Charlton
Lunar Library
 48,000 lbs of 70mm tape… the only copy of extremely high-resolution images of the moon. 
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Photo & Text Credit: Erik Charlton
Lunar Surface
Here is a snip of film created from the lunar orbiter data files. Some of the files were used to create high resolution maps of the moon for Apollo. Only a very limited [number].The high resolution images have never been seen by the public because at the time, they were classified revealing the extreme precision of our spy satellites). Instead, all we have ever seen are the grainy photo-of-a-photo images that were released to the public. Hummm...exactly what I you are seeing here as I took a photo of the film that our host was holding up to the light. I tried hard to capture some of the lunar images on the fly =) Lunar Surface( strip)
1st Public Viewing
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Photo & Text Credit: Erik Charlton
1st Public Viewing

Here is never before seen high resolution image from the pre-Apollo lunar mapping project.

This film was created from one of thousands of 1960’s lunar orbiter data files. Only a few of these files were converted into create high resolution maps to help map high potential landing sites for the Apollo missions. Only a very limited number of the files were fully developed due to the time it took for early computes to process. The result is there are tons of data that has never been seen or developed.

In addition, the high resolution images have never been seen by the public because at the time, they were classified revealing the extreme precision of our spy satellites). Instead, all we have ever seen are the grainy photo-of-a-photo images that were released to the public. Hummm...exactly what I you are seeing here… as I took a photo of the film that our host was holding up to the light.

jurvetson says:
Awesome capture... a little strip of history...
This photo was taken freehand; Erik holding his camera, and another guy holding the film up to the light... I am astounded at the focus... 

Posted by Dr. X, on Sep 26, 2008 at 16:23 GMT, a Member of ATS...
Post ID 5033998

The film was processed on board the Lunar Orbiters and what you see here are processing defects that occurred there. The system then transmitted the images, warts and all, to the receiving sites. Thus the blotches will be on the recovered data from the tapes.

As for how long magnetization lasts on tapes:
It depends on the strength of the magnetization and the material on which it was impressed. The longest lasting are digital tapes which were recorded to saturation. The LO tapes are analog however, but good analog tapes exist from back in the fifties and wire recordings before that, so this is not a surprise.

~ Dr. X ~ 

Posted by Dr. X, on Sep 26, 2008 at 17:34 GMT, a Member of ATS...
Post ID 5034366

The only reason that I wish to be anonymous at the moment is that though I am involved in the project, I am not the leader of it. So I wish to leave the details as to how much to reveal up to him. I always prefer to ask first, then act, on issues like this. I can say that the project is known in the Lunar community and that it is no secret to them as many have attended some demonstrations of the equipment as has some Google representatives. And in one instance an astronaut who was on a publicity tour was in attendance, I believe.

By the way, I understood that real names were not often used on BLOG sites which is why my real name is not used here. The name comes from a part in a movie that I played. Guess who it was?

~ Dr. X ~ 

Posted by ziggystar60, on September 27, 2008 at 08:43 GMT, a Member of ATS...
Post ID 5037143

First of all I apologize for the rather long post I am going to make, but I hope my fellow ATS members will have patience with me. I think I have discovered something interesting... Here it goes:

"wingod2001" made the following comment on YouTube regarding the video that Jurvetson uploaded there:

"I demand this this video of me be removed from youtube. This person did not have permission to do this and I will be taking this up with the management here at Youtube."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXwGnN6WiCw

Via "wingod2001"s user profile and the "Moon Rush" videos he has listed as his favorites, you can see that he is a man called Dennis Wingo. It is easy to recognize him from Jurvetson's video:

http://www.youtube.com/user/wingod2001

I had never heard of Mr. Wingo before, but this is what I found out about him:

In 2004 he wrote a book called "Moonrush" which posits a future by exploiting the value of space for resources and energy. He has a company (www.assurecom.com) which focuses on mobile power & communications systems for emergency power & Internet access. 

He also has a small company called www.skycorpinc.com, which doesn't seem to very active. Last press release was in 2001:

http://www.assurecom.com/about.html
http://www.skycorpinc.com/press.htm

Mr. Wingo also writes about space and technology for "newsvine.com". At this site he refers to an article called "Satelite turns 50 years old... In orbit!". The interesting thing here is that the article is written by a man called James Oberg. Mr. Wingo states:

"A very good article by my friend James Oberg on the 50th anniversary of the launch of the oldest piece of space hardware still in orbit."

http://wingod.newsvine.com/_news/2008/03/17/1372562-satellite-turns-50-years-old-in-orbit

James Oberg (often called Jim Oberg) is a well known debunker:

As a journalist, he writes for several regular publications, mostly online; he was previously space correspondent for UPI, ABC and currently MSNBC, often in an on-air role. He is a Fellow of the skeptical organization CSICOP and a consultant to its magazine Skeptical Inquirer.
In 1991, PBS transformed his book Red Star In Orbit into a documentary series. HBO has optioned Red Star in Orbit for some future made-for-TV miniseries.
He was commissioned by NASA to write a rebuttal of Apollo moon landing hoax accusations. NASA later dropped the project; however, Oberg has said that he still intends to pursue it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Oberg

And you know what? James/Jim Oberg is also an ATS member! In the forum dedicated to internos you can meet him in a thread called "Images for Mr. Oberg to analyze", started by bigfatfurrytexan:

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread381956/pg1

Needless to say, Mr. Oberg hasn't been very helpful or interested in a serious discussion. So to me, it seems like very bad news indeed that Dennis Wingo is a friend of this man. I don't think we will be seeing the Lunar Orbiter hi res images anytime soon... 

Last Look at Hangar One
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Photo & Text Credit: Erik Charlton

Last month, the Navy announced plans to remove the structure's toxic panels and leave its steel framework in place.
Moffett Field was originally commissioned in 1933 as a naval air station, and Hangar One housed the 785-foot-long USS Macon, a rigid frame airship.

Let's Save Hangar One
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Photo & Text Credit: NASA Ames Research Center / Dominic Hart
Current image of Hangar One at Moffett Field

Hangar One is a one-of-a kind historic treasure and NASA is committed to its preservation. Read NASA Ames Research Center Director Pete Worden's Editorial about Hangar One. We're soliciting public comments about Hangar One. Please leave your comments here.

SOURCE: Ames Research Center

UPDATE
Posted by Zelong, on September 28, 2008 at 04:33 GMT, a Member of ATS
Post ID 5040670

Here you go zorgon this will get them of your back.

I came across this post by Dennis Wingo this is the guy in the video while he was searching for parts I assume for the his Ampex FR-900.
This is back in 09-05-08, 03:11 PM
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/...

Originally Posted by dkozloski View Post
I was off and on in military and industrial electronics for almost 50 years. The point I am trying to make is that what you see on HD-DVD is degraded enough that pirates can't reconstruct the video well enough to provide video suitable for theater use. It looks better than DVD but it's not what they would like you to think it is. With HD-DVD/Blue Ray you can provide a fantastically accurate reproduction of a degraded video signal. Like you said, it all depends on the source video and what the content provider supplies.

I cut my teeth on FR-600, FR-900, FR-1400 Ampex. Bell&Howell, Mincom, and 3M. We had an RCA RADAR video recorder that had 4 foot diameter tape reels.

Don

I don't mean to intrude here but I was doing an internet search on Ampex FR-900's and was led to this post. Well I have four of them sitting within ten feet of me right now. I am doing a project at NASA Ames to resurrect two of them to digitize NASA's original master tapes from the lunar orbiter missions to the Moon.

If you remember anything or know any possible information where we can find any information about them (we have some data but not enough), would you please contact me?

Thanks

Dennis Wingo
NASA Research Park, Building 596
Moffett Field, CA 94035
my phone is 310-[Redacted]

Anything you might remember or know or any data that you might have would be of incredible value.

Thanks

Dennis

NOTE: The above information was posted on a PUBLIC forum and contains a request for information. As a result of our reposting this info the following result was obtained... so publishing this info has produced expected and asked for results

UPDATE
Posted by StargateSG7, on September 29, 2008 at 15:29 GMT, A Member of ATS
Post ID 5047987

As a self-described Video Expert (i.e. SAIT CTSR Grad) with 15 years of high-end digital video experience, I am VERY INTERESTED in contributing to the effort of converting these NASA tapes! - I have some expertise with both 1 inch Sony and 2 inch AMPEX/Quad tape formats and am quite familiar with methods such as BAKING older tape so that it can be played back on such machines so the tape oxide doesn't flake off the polyester substrate.

BUT......FOR YOUR INFORMATION ........

I NOW have a much better method to capture the archived NASA tapes and am willing to do so for FREE. I have designed custom multi-processing imaging software that OPTICALLY SCANS (using a microscope & digital HDTV camera) the scanline imprints of each frame that has been recorded on magnetic tape and by using my custom DSP (Digital Signal Processing) algorithms I can recreate the waveforms of the analog broadcast signal by converting the BITMAP SCANS of each analog video frame into either 8-bit greyscale or 24 bit RGB colour image frames which
I can then convert into 4:4:4:4 Serial Digital video or 4:2:2 DV format or MPEG2/MPEG4/DVD video at 720 by 480 pixels OR full 1920 by 1080p HDTV.

I just HAPPEN to know the recording head configuration and scanline formatting of BOTH Sony 1" and AMPEX 2"/Quad tape formats so I already have the conversion capability built-into my software.

IN ADDITION, I HAVE MANY, MANY TERABYTES OF DISK SPACE so storage is NOT A PROBLEM!

So if any of you have the contact information for the people involved or the contact information of the photographer, send them this message and MY contact information so they can forward it to the right people
and get the ball rolling. I welcome phone calls because I CAN HELP !!!!!

I am willing to convert the tapes GRATIS, AT NO CHARGE, AND THAT MEANS FREE!!!! using my NEW OPTICAL SCANNING METHOD which DOES NOT physically use a playback head to touch the tape...
I do it by taking high resolution photos of the tape surface and using software to scan the orientation and patterning of the tape particles so as to find the frame boundaries on a frame-by-frame basis which is then processed to interpret the video scan lines so I then convert to a modern digital video file format.

I can also process out tape-based noise and magnetic particle anomalies to get the CLEANEST possible image!

We can transfer older 35mm slide, Super-8/Regular-8 mm film and 16mm FILM to Video transfers so that I can do too ... although we DO CHARGE for THAT Service!

Send email to or phone me at to discus how I can get the NASA tapes to me for conversion to various digital formats FOR FREE !!!!!!!!:

Henry A. Eckstein
aka ATS User: StargateSG7
Email: henry@comwave.com
Website: www.comwave.com
Phone: 604-253-3990
(If phoning call Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 Pacific Time - i.e. Vancouver, Canada)

UPDATE
September 29, 2008 4:01 pm

Posted from email.... next step in the process..

Thank You for the contact information....I will give him a ring tomorrow when I'm back in the office and send him a comprehensive report on what I envisage with my optical scanning and software image processing technique.

Basically what I do is put the magnetic tape reels onto a slow-moving spindle that moves at a few millimetres per second so as to give enough time for a 1024 by 1024 pixel RGB 60 fps digital camera attached to a high-quality optical magnifier to scan the tape by STITCHING multiple photos into a large bitmap that constitutes the frame boundaries of an analog Video waveform. (I can do digitally encoded frames too).  That large bitmap is then scanned using my software using technology similar to Optical Character Recognition (OCR) where I can change the Greyscale/YIQ/YUV/YDbDr scanline information that is likely to be on the NASA tapes into an uncompressed 720 by 480 pixel RGB video frame or to a super-sampled 1920 by 1080 pixel progressive RGB HDTV frame that can then be converted to any modern digital video format that I want.

And I estimate the storage of uncompressed video based upon the number of reels strewn about in the McDonalds photos, to be almost one Petabyte (1000 Terabytes) of data, which is NOT a problem for me, it's just a matter of buying enough extra hard drives to hold it all on a more permanent basis. I've already got almost two petabytes of off-line digital storage so another petabyte ain't gonna hurt me.

The biggest problem is the quality of the original tapes themselves...tape oxide DETERIORATES over time and my biggest worry is it flaking away from the polyester substrate and the only way to fix that is to BAKE the tape in an oven to harden it and then play it ONLY ONCE through my apparatus in order to get a clean optical-scan transfer.

I have NO IDEA as to the current condition of the NASA tapes so I can only speculate as to what needs done thus I would need a sample tape to test the quality of transfer...If the tape itself is good, then the transfer I do will
be equal to the original recording and since I can filter out magnetic tape noise, I might even get close to the quality of the original space-to-ground broadcast.

If some people, who have speculated that the tapes are DIGITALLY ENCODED, are correct, I can ALSO transfer that using my OPTICAL SCAN method and since all I need to know is the width, height and greyscale/colour
format of the pixels, I'll be able to convert the probably PCM-based (Pulse Coded Modulation) picture frames into absolute digital clarity. If it's digital we might be able to get some really AWESOME quality video footage.

Hopefully I can still get a hold of Dennis Wingo to get the ball rolling.

Just so I don't get your hopes up too high, please be aware this might take a week or more in order to to get replies and talk on the phone. So don't expect a miracle tomorrow but I will do my best...!!!

You can post this email on ATS or forward to others who are interested
if you want so as to possibly spark some mainstream media interest.

Thanks

Henry A. Eckstein
email: henry@comwave.com

UPDATE
October 14th, 2008
..
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