Armstrong's lost footage found, restored
London: Footage of astronaut Neil Armstrong going down the ladder of the Apollo 11 spacecraft for the historic walk on the moon has been found, restored and will now be screened for the first time in Sydney.
The video barely runs for a few minutes, yet it is thought to be one of the best pieces of footage of the historic 1969 moment.
The film was lost in archives for many years and by the time it was found, it was badly damaged, Daily Telegraph Wednesday quoted astronomer John Sarkissian as saying.
The footage shows the initial few minutes of Armstrong's descent that was recorded in Australia as NASA was still trying to catch a signal.
Telescopes located in Australia played a role in the Apollo 11 mission as it had provision for catching television signal.
Sarkissian, an astronomer in charge of the Australian side of the recordings restoration project, said the previously unseen footage 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 actually see Armstrong.
"In what people have seen before you can barely see Armstrong at all, you can see something black - that was his leg," he was quoted as saying.
The footage of Armstrong had only previously been seen by Apollo veterans and few other members of the astronomy community.
Sarkissian said there was a "long detective story" involved in the search for the footage and it took a lot of back-breaking effort for the frame by frame work to shift the material from the black and white film to digital format.
"It was very damaged tape as well, that segment of Armstrong at the beginning."
The video will be screened at the awards night of Australian Geographic magazine next Wednesday. Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin will be the chief guest at the ceremony.
Sarkissian said: "When we heard Buzz was going to be the guest of honour we thought 'what a great opportunity'."