It took almost 35 years for NASA to discover that the original Neil Armstrong walking on the moon recovering was missing. Scientists from Australia notified NASA in 2004 that they may have found the original tape, but the government agency has doubts.
Because the National Aeronautics and Space Administration agency used to recycle old tapes in the 70s and 80s, they believe the original footage might have been reused for some other purposes. NASA admitted recently that over 350,000 video tapes have been recycled over the years.
One small mistake for man, once giant upset for mankind
July 20, 1969 is one of the most historic days for space exploration, as man first landed on the moon. It was a global event that left people cheering for mankind’s achievements. It was captured on television and everyone gazed with are at the images of Neil Armstrong walking on the foreign environment of the moon.
Though the television event was not extensively played on the air, NASA used backup footage of the whole scene on SSTV film. The coverage beamed the image across satellites in space and to several NASA tracking centers including California and Australia. The telemetry was then sent to the command center in Houston where it was broadcast on all television sets across America.
The historic footage lost in the annals of time
Because of budget constraints during the 70s and 80s, NASA was forced to recycle used tapes. Known as the missing Apollo 11 tapes, researchers and scientists has been rigorously looking for the original footage. They believe it contains digital data which can be used to convert the footage into a sharper picture.
Searching through thousands of boxes and archived documents, NASA experts now believe that the original footage may possibly been used for other purposes. The coverage might have possibly been erased and recycled to help the government agency save money.