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Abandoned McDonald's Holds Glimpse of Life on Moon [video] (businessweek.com)
31 points by rbanffy on Aug 25, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments

This project was the subject of a WWDC lunch session in 2009 I believe. One of the best I have seen.

There was so much more content in the WWDC presentation, I wished they had filmed lunch sessions at the time:

- It was not only moon orbiter pictures but also stuff from the apollo missions

- The analog pictures were actually transmitted over radio with an analog process (converting black and white in frequencies)

- This signal was then digitized and used to recreate images on the ground

- What they use (at least what they showed 4 yers ago) is the raw sound files that were recorded. Of course this is much better than the recreated on the ground images because you are one step closer to the source.

- They first had to find a way to read those files on tapes. They actually called this presentation "data archeology" because of this. Had to find tape readers, get them back to work, etc.

- Using DSP processing they were able to significantly improve the quality of the reconstruction process, dealing with mechanical problems on the space side (like the film were moving on a roll which speed was not perfectly constant)

- One of the most interesting result was an image reconstructed in 2000s compared to the original image. Turned out to be one of the first picture of earth poles (and ice cap). Extremely useful today.

For more info:

- http://lunarscience.nasa.gov/articles/nimbus-ii-and-lunar-or...

- http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/26/the-lunar-orbiter-imag...

Found the slides from the wwdc presentation!



Enjoyed very much, thanks!

1:30, Austin Epps "The quality of the analogue process used during the 1960s significantly degraded the actual quality of the images that were taken onboard the spacecraft, they didn't have the computing power necessary to do this as an all digital process back then whereas right now, you can basically do what was impossible to do in 1964/5 on a $2000 computer"

2:36 Dennis Wingo "I really want this material to be to be conserved, part of scientific validity is to be able to go back to the original sources."

Nice catch. I am a 'vicarious lunatic' and look forward to the publication of this material.

Please, anyone with budgetary power, pause for thought about the preservation of raw data for the future

Sort of random note, it is kind of creepy to ride your bike around the base housing at Moffett. Kind of expect zombies or something to come shuffling out.

The preservation efforts are really vital. I was amazed at how much data is "trapped" in media that is slowly decaying over time at NASA. Definitely worth saving.

I regognized the name of the reporter, Ashlee Vance. He used to be one of the good american reporters on the theregister.co.uk. And wrote a book I got, "Geek Silicon Valley".

Love this kind of reporting, and the characters.

I worked down the street from these guys for 4 years, and supported them on a couple of web projects. The work they do is great... it's a shame they don't get more resources.

Short, entertaining, and relatively informative. I'm pleasantly surprised after seeing the page and encountering the autoplaying ad - usually those do not bode well for the content.

Can anyone explain why he believes a future lunar colony would be located at the Moon's north pole?

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