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10 Responses to “Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project: how you can help save historic space data”

  1. Slipgrid says:

    We have better 1966 archival recordings, photos, and videos of the Grateful Dead.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      And that is an excellent point. It’s the value of crowdsourcing. The Dead were the first pop culture crowdsourcers. Leave it to the government… not such a happy outcome.

  2. This is Dennis Wingo, the co-lead for the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project.  I would like to thank all the boingboing folks who have so generously donated to our project.

    We call what we are doing technoarcheology because we are literally digging up our technical past to restore it.  It is said that only 1% of the literary works of the Greek and Roman civilizations have made it to us today.  I would estimate that out of that 1% only 1% of the engineering and science works have made it to us today.

    The Greeks were masterful mechanical engineers and the Romans were unsurpassed Civil Engineers.  Just think if we had not lost that legacy.

    This is what our project is all about, preserving the technical legacy of the American technical civilization.

    Thanks again!

  3. I’m glad that somebody is doing this. It seems to only take a generation or so for things, technical know-how, to be forgotten. I cling tenaciously to my (dwindling) collection of NASA press material from the 1970’s for this very reason (it saddens me that much of my space enthusiasm these days is concentrated on those halcyon days). 

  4. kcowing says:

    I am Keith Cowing, Dennis WIngo’s partner on the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project.  I too want to thank all of you BoingBoing readers for your generosity. We’re closing in on the 50% mark now.  Given that we are truly a bare bones operation, rest assured every penny will be used frugally. We’ve already been able to order yet another tape drive head for refurbishment – that’s another 100-200 images we can retrieve.  Again THANKS!!

  5. Chris Muir says:

    I have a giant photo of the 1966 version on the wall in my studio. I love it _so_ much more than the “better” 2008 version because it reveals the state of the art in 1966. In 1966, this photo was astounding, warts and all. To me, the “improved” version is much like colorizing a classic black and white film. This said, I agree that the original data should be preserved, and have helped with the funding.

  6. I. M. Boss Hogg says:

    I have an old copy of the Gemini stress report from the early 60s stored away collecting dust. When I head to my reward the wife will deep-six it with pounds and pounds of other old stuff.
    There’s a lot of that out there…
    Oops… I might have given that report away to some cat up at MSFC!

  7. Richard Sommery-Gade says:

    Actually being next to silly cone valley (sorry couldn’t resist), that might be a great place to get donations of tech and monetary or advert help / connections besides hitting up Shatner & the rest of the old Trekky crowd. A lot of those people love helping and may actually remember those days, if they weren’t in diapers. Can’t believe that NASA didn’t keep that stuff or the Navy either, as I was on some of the Gemini and Apollo recovery Task Forces. In fact some of that recovery stuff is on board the Hornet that was involved in the recovery task force, and is berthed in Alameda Ca.  

  8. Crews Giles says:

    This reminds me that I need to spend a few weeks digitally scanning and then uploading to the Internet, my own collection of NASA related material currently sitting in a large box in a storage unit.   Too many would fail to notice the historical value.

    While I was in college, my mother explained, “We had a garage sale, and I hope it was alright that we sold some of your old toys, like that cheap model of the Apollo Command Module.” 

    “Uh, you did not notice the signature on it?  Wernher von Braun personally signed that and gave it to me.” 

  9. If they need more tape drives, may want to check with the guys at Langley, Virginia. They may have a few in a back room, somewhere.