Monday, March 18, 2013

Lunar Pics Recovery Needs Donations from Public

Money for Moon Images: Lunar Photos Project Seeks Public Support

Date: 18 March 2013 Time: 12:48 PM ET
Earthrise 1966/2008
"Earthrise" as seen in 1966 (top), and then again in 2008 as recovered by the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project.
A five-year effort to recover nearly 50-year-old images of the moon is seeking public support to keep the project going.

Since 2008, Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) has been reprocessing data received from five unmanned NASA spacecraft in the 1960s. The Lunar Orbiters, tasked with imaging potential landing sites for the Apollo manned missions that were set to follow, made their own history by taking the first photos from lunar orbit.

Started with funding from volunteers and initially supported financially by NASA, the LOIRP team of retired engineers and scientists, together with students, have recovered and enhanced 600 out of the more than 1,400 images taken by the Lunar Orbiters in 1966 and 1967.

The funds raised so far have allowed for the refurbishment of two of LOIRP's five tape drive heads. The team is also looking to pay the engineering team that maintains the 50 year old tape drives.

Two days remain for the public to contribute. In return, the LOIRP team is offering a number of Lunar Orbiter-related collectibles, ranging from a 3D-printed model of the moon probe to vintage prints and microfilm copies of the original Lunar Orbiter imagery.

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