MOON PICTURES: 1960s Orbiter Images Restored

MOON PICTURES: 1960s Orbiter Images Restored
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This zoomed-in view of the previous image shows mountains near the Copernicus crater on the moon.

The spacecraft was about 28 miles (45 kilometers) above the moon's surface and took the picture from around 100 miles (161 kilometers) away.

"You can see some mountains that are about 50 kilometers [31 miles] beyond the other side of the crater," said Dennis Wingo, a leader of the restoration project.

The Lunar Orbiter tapes, containing this and thousands more moon pictures, were nearly destroyed in a routine NASA archives purge.

"The typical process was just to destroy these tapes after 20 years," said Wingo. Luckily, NASA Planetary Data System co-creator Nancy Evans had been making sure the tapes got saved in storage.

— Photograph courtesy Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project
 
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