London: The lost footage of astronaut
Neil Armstrong descending the ladder of Apollo 11 lunar module
for the historic moonwalk in 1969 has been found and would be
screened for the first time in Sydney, a media report said.
The video runs for a few minutes and is considered to
be some of the best footage of the 1969 moonwalk, but it was
lost in archives for many years and badly damaged when found,
`The Daily Telegraph` quoted astronomer John Sarkissian.
In fact, the footage depicts the first few minutes
of Armstrong`s descent which was recorded in Australia as NASA
was still scrambling for a signal, showing a far clearer image
than was initially screened worldwide.
Telescopes in remote Australia played a key role in
the Apollo 11 mission, including provision of the television
signal, after Armstrong decided to attempt the moonwalk early,
putting the US just beyond the horizon.
Sarkissian, an historian and astronomer in charge
of the Australian side of the recordings restoration project,
said the unseen minutes were the "best quality of Armstrong
descending the ladder".
"NASA were using the Goldstone (California) station
signal, which had its settings wrong, but in the signals being
received by the Australian stations you can see Armstrong. In
what people have seen before you can barely see Armstrong at
all, you can see something black, that was his leg.
"It was very damaged tape as well, that segment
of Armstrong at the beginning. Digitising the recording was
significant in the space flight history context allowing it
to be preserved and copied for future generations," he said.
The segment which runs for "a few minutes" will be
screened at the awards night of Australian Geographic magazine
next Wednesday, at which Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin will
be the chief guest.