NASA Restores Moonlanding Footage

July 17, 2009

Here’s a musing that’s somewhat off the art track this time around, but it’s slightly akin to my feelings on the restorations of works of art. NASA is celebrating the 4oth anniversary of the landing on the moon on July 20th, 1969, and has been involved in restoring the video footage taken of the actual event. I’ve been having mixed feelings about it. I actually prefer the old stuff.

Original footage

Original footage

Restored example

Restored example








I don’t want to go anywhere near a silly conversation about whether or not the landing actually took place. Of course it did. Buzz Aldrin is not that good of an actor. Nonetheless, it calls into question how much of it is being manipulated which just makes the conspiracy theories all the more clamorous.

In my mind I prefer the original vague ghostly images instead of the enhanced details. It reminds me of the fact that I’m looking at a dated marvel of the historical record of technology itself, not to mention the super-human effort that went into getting us there in the first place.

Think of what video cameras were like in 1969, what it took to put one on the moon, and what it took just to transmit a signal across this planet not to mention across over 200, 000 miles of space.  On top of that is television technology itself, and sets around the world that allowed humanity to witness this event unfolding. I was there with them in 1969, and I still get a thrill thinking about it. What I want to see now is exactly what I saw then, not worse but also not better. Next thing you know, we’ll get The Honeymooners in Hi-Def. Not for me, thanks. “To the moon, Alice!”

NASA footage
Associated Press article about restoration

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