back to article NASA orbiter returns first shots of Apollo moon sites

NASA's lunar orbiter has returned its first pictures of the Apollo moon landing sites. The images — showing the missions' lunar module descent stages accented by their shadows from a low sun angle — may at least prove to die-hard conspiracy theorists that NASA went to considerable lengths to relocate its secret movie studio in …

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They'll say its all done with Photoshop

The only way to convince the conspiracy nuts that its all real is to blast *them* to the moon, and then chuck them out without a spacesuit. After all, anybody could produce these images with Photoshop...

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Here we go...

Cue dozens of weak jokes about how they're all faked.

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Heart

For all we know...

...it could be an OS X trash can. Hard to tell at that resolution.

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OG
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There is no moon

But seriously, these pics are supposed to be proof of what? I've seen more convincing pictures of tellytubbies on the moons surface. than this pile of crap.

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Black Helicopters

NASA did wipe the original moon landing tapes

Doesn't anyone else think it's more than odd that NASA erased the original hi-resolution moon landing tapes? The only recording that remains is the familiar grainy footage that was recorded on Earth from the live TV feed.

If the original footage still existed (or maybe it does!) then conspiracy theorists could examine everything in great detail in the hope of finding evidence that the landing was staged. e.g. wires, reflections of studio equipment, dust behaving incorrectly, etc.

It just seems too convenient for NASA to have wiped over the hi-res film recording. Even though they had a policy to wipe recordings so tapes can be re-used, you wouldn't tape over the only hi-res colour recording of the most significant scientific event in human history! No way!

I wouldn't dream of taping over my wedding video, not even if I could reclaim £1000 for the tape. This does not make sense. I cry foul! NASA said they don't appologise for wiping the tape because it was their policy at the time to do so. Yeah, right. Major cockup or something fishy went on.

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Better resolution needed

Would have thought they could have done better than that, judging by the excellent high res. satellite earth images we see these days, reading number plates from gawd knows how many thousand miles away, or even pics. from earth-based telescopes.

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@gary f.....Yeahhh!

The aussies had em , the signals were originally received at banrock station (or summat like that) and then broadcast live, with some spod in mission control filming the tv they were being played on. The tapes have now been remastered and will produce images that the theorists will STILL say are fake....muppets!

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Black Helicopters

That looks shooped....

I can tell by the Pixels, and having seen a few in my time.

Besides, speaking of everyone's favorite shooping Software, Don't Adobe also offer "Premiere" (To "shoop", not Still Pictures, but Video Footage?

Then again I suppose there's Final Cut Pro, for the Macinites or the AVID system, for the "Hard Core Professional"

It'll be a hell of an easier time of airbrushing those strings out, once they ~Digitally Remaster~ it!!

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmmm...

@Conspiracy theorists

My wife recorded over our wedding video. Does that mean she was trying to hide something?

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Coat

So...

... where did Wallace and Grommit land...?

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@Gary F

The reason the Apollo 11 pictures are so poor quality is because the astronauts accidentally broke the good camera. Nothing to do with wiping tapes or anything.

(For reference, don't point sensitive cameras at the sun. It's bad for them.)

Also, at the time they thought they were going to be running back'n'forth pretty often, and apart from when Apollo 13 went titsup the media weren't all that interested in the later missions.

If you'd like some proof that we really did land on the moon, borrow a big telescope and have a look yourself. The location of each Apollo descent stage is well known and you can see most of them with a good telescope at the right time of the month.

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Missing tapes...

The contents of the 'missing tapes' are on the NASA home page

http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html#

but that is centainly not my idea of 'high resolution'. Why are shots of moon walks and flying saucers always blurred?

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I've seen that before...

...it's a close up of the head on a pint of Guinness.

And to confirm what AC posted about the "missing" tapes:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/29/moon_landing_tapes/

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g e
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The Aussies

They sure do done got dem tapes, pardner

apparently

Cos it was all filmed in the outback :oD

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Big Brother

Tape wiping

Why should the BBC wipe or destroy thousands of hours of TV programming of the highest quality in the 60s and 70s? OMG the government doesn't want us watching old episodes of Dr Who!!!

Or would the more accurate conclusion be idiot management? Unable to see a future for its back catalogue as home videos hasn't been invented so no obvious way to make money from a catalogue that was expensive to maintain...

Just because something stupid is done, doesn't mean there is a conspiracy behind it.

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Alien

Moon landing deniers..

..suck it down, hard!

Although the lunatic-fringe (pun intended) will always bleat on about it being a fake.

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Pint

The Apollo 14 site shot

The interesting thing here is that the trail worn between the LM and the experiment package deployment isn't just from the crewmens' boots -- that alone probably wouldn't have shown up -- but also from the wheels of a small hand-towed tool cart which contained all their necessary long-handled rock and soil-sampling tools, along with Alan Shepard's golf bag. (;^>

I, for one, can't wait to see the higher-res images of the sites where the LRV ("moon jeep") was used. On Apollos 15, 16 and 17 -- especially 17 -- the crews were on the surface long enough to revisit several sites repeatedly, thus wearing down discernible paths and trails between "stations" on their traverse.

A pint raised to the LRO team -- because even though it's 8am here on the East Coast, it's still 5pm somewhere.

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@Gary F

"Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity." Or, in this case, incompetence.

You have to put everything in proper context. NASA did not erase the Apollo 11 landing tapes, at least not knowingly. It wasn't like someone, when asked for a blank tape, went to the special Apollo 11 vault, picked up the one labeled "Apollo 11 Moon Landing - 07/20/1969 DO NOT ERASE, EVAH!!!" and wiped it clean.

Keep in mind that at that time there were no personal computers; no electronic record keeping; no SAN back-up storage. Inventories were kept by hand, and tapes were manually labeled and stacked on piles in large rooms somewhere. All done by a sprawling government bureaucratic machine. And you know what? Mistakes happened; quite oftenly, too.

It stands to reason that the tapes were originally mislabeled or misplaced--or both--and then recycled inadvertently. It's also not as if these were the only important tapes missing. These are the ones making the headlines today because the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission shines the spotlight on them; but I'm sure the are plenty other tapes and artifacts that have gone inconspicuously missing over the years.

-dZ.

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Anonymous Coward

Conspiracy?

Has anyone ever met a real conspiracy nut? I never have. I think they are made up by Nasa to create more publicity. After all, anyone can make sceptical comments.

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Anonymous Coward

@Gary F

They found the originals in a vault in Australia recently. El Reg even has a story about it.

Also, many people don't check- they'll just wipe over anything. The world very nearly lost the first Dr Who story, the first Dalek stories, etc because the BBC were wiping stuff from their archive. Not exactly the same scale, but you'd have thought they'd take better care of one of their most famous shows!

Plus NASA went back to the moon on subsequent missions- so there would be more tapes to show it's not faked- and the number of people who cried "FAKE" back in the 1960s was pretty low. Plus by 2009 we were supposed to be living ON the moon.

Finally, the world had a load of other recordings of the Moon Landing. So if the tape was just labelled "Moon Landing 20/07/69" then the person doing the throwing out could have thought "well, there are tonnes of these kicking about" and chucked it.

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@Gary F as well and A/C...

Yes - story here:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/29/moon_landing_tapes/

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FAIL

For lack of a Dymo labeller

According to an America Institute of Physics story at http://www.aip.org/isns/reports/2009/090717_apollo2.html, the camera signals were compressed at the Honeysuckle Creek tracking facility near Canberra, Australia and bounced a couple of times via satellite to the US for TV broadcast. Tapes (45 reels) made of these signals in Canberra were sent for archival to the National Records Center and the tapes were reused some while later - not much of a records centre, if the tapes get wiped. It all smacks of incredibly short-term thinking, shoddy security and pathetic logistics. I'm far more attracted to the 'buffoon-level-stupidity' theory than conspiracy. Didn't anybody think to label the recordings 'First Moon Landing - Historic Event - High Quality Recording - DO NOT ERASE!'

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Joke

The Real Truth

I'm offended by this poorly made fake landing site photos. Thanks to the advent of modern technology and Google Maps, we can now all see where they actually flew those crews, it was just a short trip across the ocean to the Sahara desert and back as this photo easily proves:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v302/IvanV/moonlandingsite.jpg

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Black Helicopters

Proof.. BAH!!

No matter what proof you put on the table, a conspiracy nut will ALWAYS reject it as fabricated.

The facts stand as I see them, We Went, and I honestly think that ALL conspiracy theorists need to form a nice orderly queue and stand in line quietly for their turn with some personal 1-on-1 time with Buzz Aldrin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOo6aHSY8hU

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Paris Hilton

Paranoids without faith in humanity

It amuses me that there are so many skeptics out there who have a firm belief that the United Stated Government has the means, motive, and opportunity to fake moon landings. It tells me that these people have little faith in the Human spirit. Many of them do not believe in intangibles like God, so I suppose that part does not surprise me much. The solution, then, would be to take them to the moon and show them, hands-on, but of course that whole thing could be faked as well by the God-less anti-Semites at Disney. (No, wait, the Jews run America, so why would Disney help? I am soooo confused.) True Believers cannot be swayed by hard evidence, because they alone hold the key to unlocking all of the world's secrets and exposing those who would commit the worst possible actions against man-kind.

At least that is what the chip in my brain, activated by compounds placed in my drinking water and ignored by MRIs, tells me to believe.

I think it would be equally amusing for someone within NASA to meet with one of these cheese-dog brained Muppets and tell them they have been right the entire time. It would be easy: just regurgitate the exact "evidence" the skeptic has already produced, in its circumstantial entirety, and they will lap it up like lab rats and probably need a towel and a cigarette after the meeting.

And in the end it will not change anything. That is the beauty of fact and the truth: truth is whatever you want to believe, but fact remains the same whether you believe it or not.

Paris, partying with Ripley.

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WTF?

Oh FFS

How many more times do we have to have this drivel put before us? So there's a moon landing vehicle on the surface of the moon. By golly, that proves indisputedly that man must have taken it there then. Case proved m'lud? I think not - as Spirit and Opportunity have proved to us, you don't need a bloke to put hardware on a remote satellite object.

Futhermore, don't waste time with the fake shots that Nasa is holding up. See the real moon shots here: http://www.freewebs.com/1969clangers/home.htm

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Photoshop

Nice photoshop! Now where's my tin hat?

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Tapes Found

Yes the hi-res tapes have been found in an archive in Australia (where one of the receiving stations were based).

I'm sure they are being released for public viewing soon to help promote the Apollo 12 anniversary in the coming days.

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I *DO* give a flying f*ck...

Cynical old anti-imperialist peacenik git that I am, I can't help being awed by these low-res images of the Apollo landing sites.

Even though it was a waste of money, people-years and resources first time around (and will be an even more scandalous waste if they go again when we face far more pressing problems now) the little kid in me who remembers watching this open-mouthed on a b&w telly when it happened comes to the surface. I can't help acknowledging that it was still an amazing thing to do.

Don't you just hate having mixed emotions about all things US? So much easier when you can shout with every fibre of your being: "YANKEES GO HOME!" :-)

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Fake, oh yes, file sharing forever!

"Doesn't anyone else think it's more than odd that NASA erased the original hi-resolution moon landing tapes?" Actually no, this is the reason why file sharing is essential to our society, because the idiots in charge don't have the sense to keep their data safe. If file sharing existed back then there would be milions of hi-def copies all over the world, so it's our duty to posterity to keep as many terrabytes of shared files on our hard drives as possible! And yes they are fake, they're wooden mockup NASA put there to convince anyone taking pictures that we actually went to the moon.....wait, um, well it sounded sensible when that conspiracy nut told me all about it!

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Alien

we DID go to the moon

I'm a human-thetan hybrid and my uncle Zax made a REALLY high resolution *video* of the Apollo 14 mission ( holographic hex digital cube ) using his fly-sized anti-gravity drone launched from the non-earth facing side of the moon while on vacation in early 1971

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AWESOME!

The conspiracy theorists can say what they will ... these are amazing pix.

Imagine having been on the Apollo 14 mission and being able to look at a photo taken from space of the "footpath" YOU made!!

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Pint

cool.

just plain fucking cool. Space flight rocks.

Cheers!

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Great

Excellent to see these photos, especially Apollo 14 showing the footpath made by Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell. Look forward to seeing the higher resolution photos later on.

The conspiracy theorists don't understand, or choose not to understand, the evidence for Apollo, or their own "evidence" against it.

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Coat

They proved it wasn't filmed in Nevada

Surely it was in Australia. That's where the tapes showed up.

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Paris Hilton

re: Doesn't anyone else think

>> it's more than odd that NASA erased the original hi-resolution moon landing tapes?

Short sighted actions for saving peanuts (which usually cost more than they save) are typical of most bureaucracies the world over - so why would it suprise you NASA is any different

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WTF?

2 days?!

2 days they've had to "insert" those Apollo left overs... Jeeez...

Even I'm quicker with photoshop than that!

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@ @Gary F

It was Al Bean on Apollo 12 who wrote off the TV camera by pointing it at the sun.

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Alien

GPS, smart bombs, the ISS, the internet...

...mobile phones, XBox, digital cameras, submarines, Concorde, brain surgery, Jordan's Bulgarian airbags...

...yet the Moon landings were faked?

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To badly misquote Futurama

Hah, I knew it, regular theories 1, insane theories 0.

To all those conspiracy theorists - the original tapes were wiped due to a cock up. People are idiots, even, sometimes, the most clever people in the world can have moments of idiocy.

I generally find that if a cock up is even an option rather than a conspiracy, it's cock up every time.

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Hoaxers

Normal people always wonder how anyone can believe wildly improbably conspiracy theories -- Apollo hoaxers, 9/11 truthers, Obama birthers, young earth creationists, holocaust deniers, etc.

The Apollo hoaxers will say the astronauts would be killed by the radiation belts. You show them the elliptical trajector, that took the Apollo astronauts around the belts and they go "oh". And then the next day they tell someone else that the radiation belts would kill the astronauts. There seems to be some kind of misconnection in their brains.

Conspiracy theories and pseudo science give a certain type of person a feeling of superiority. They think they are special, have a deeper insight than ordinary people. It lets them think they are better than accomplished rocket scientists and brave astronauts, even though they have probably failed at achieving anything like that in their life.

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Paris Hilton

@Saggar

I dated one. Fun, but a complete loon.

Paris, fun, but also a complete loon.

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Anonymous Coward

if your going to do something, do it right.

IF those NASA orbiter Boffins were so cleave,r how come they didnt put a simple highest res camera today and related imaging kit on a simple wire and and remotely lower it down well below the 500 meter orbit to get far better pictures PSI , theres no drag after all!

it comes to something when the most useful thing they ever left on the mood so far was that simple tiny mirror that the almost forgotten earth guy peddles up a high mountain road every day and fires his lazer beam at it to prove the moons moving away from the Earth....

hell if your only 1640 foot or less away then not drop a basic mini remote bot somewere there and do something constructive , im sure the japanese will make a clever robot that does something useful there before these US boffins do....

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Anonymous Coward

who was that guy...

"the camera signals were compressed at the Honeysuckle Creek tracking facility near Canberra, Australia and bounced a couple of times via satellite to the US for TV broadcast. Tapes (45 reels) made of these signals in Canberra were sent for archival to the National Records Center and the tapes were reused some while later - not much of a records centre, if the tapes get wiped. It all smacks of incredibly short-term thinking, shoddy security and pathetic logistics."

that same bloke went on to work at the BBC on the Drwho archives section i beleave ....

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Alien

awww

All those conspiracy nuts will have to find something else thats a conspiracy

In fact the biggest hint that NASA really did land on the moon came from the russians who would have kicked up a stink if they'd detected anything funny going on... and one of their lunar rovers visited an apollo site

Still, when you are as paranoid as a 'moon landing was faked' nutcase, any evidence is fake even if he is standing on the moon next to the decent stage

Aliens... because thats what the government really gets upto in Area 51

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RW

Libraries and archives

Highly Important Senior Executives don't think these are important and will fire trained librarians and archivists at the drop of a hat. "Oh, I'll have my secretary look after that." Forty years later...

There are interesting counter examples. One of the Canadian railroads was in a dispute with an Indian band along the Fraser River over the question whether the line that ran through the reserve (and cut it in half) was freehold property of the railroad or merely a right of way.

The railroad turned out to have all the original documents from over a century ago and, as it happened, won their case. Clearly the railroad's corporate culture included "whatever you do, don't throw away the titles and deeds to the land we own."

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aislabie

Despite the annotation the Apollo 14 picture almost certainly shows the handcart not the ALSEP instruments (as one poster here suggests).

Also there is potential for muddle in the camera damage story. Apollo 11 did not have a damaged camera and the download from that was supposedly a better quality than could be put out for (and secondarily recorded by) the TV networks. It was Apollo 12 ,which landed near Surveyor 3, where they accidentally burnt out the camera by pointing it at the sun

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Alien

Won't convice the conspiracy nuts

I have met a few conspiracy nuts in my time, and one thing I've learned about them is that there's no convincing them. For example, the Flat-earthers hold that the reason you see the horizon being curved from a high-flying airliner is because the airlines are in a conspiracy to drug their passengers so they hallucinate a curved horizon! Or that the curved glass of the aircraft windows bowing out under pressure at high altitude makes the horizon look curved! I've even heard one of them say the the windows in airliners are actually high-quality computer screens that project real-time CG to make the horizon look curved...

So even if you flew these guys to the moon PERSONALLY, they'd just say that you'd drugged them to hallucinate that they were on the moon, or that you'd drugged them unconscious and let them wake up in a movie set. And even if you let them bring their own food and water to preclude that possibility, they'd say you put the drugs into the air they breathed. And if you let them have an oxygen mask, they'd say you found some secret UFO-tech way to spike their air supply. Or they'd say that the windows of the spacecraft and the faceplates of the spacesuits were really computer screens and you were just showing them pretty graphics. You can't win, and I've long since given up bothering to try!

(Of course, you could let them take their spacesuits off outside the LM and let them find out for themselves... Darwin would certainly approve!)

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Black Helicopters

Conspiracy Theories

http://xkcd.com/258/

Says it all really...

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