2-Minute Film Festival, Carnegie Museum of Art
Join us under the stars as we reveal this year’s finalists-and give you the chance to vote for your favorite! Each year we pick a unique theme and ask filmmakers to submit their finest–and shortest–films to our 2-Minute Film Festival. To celebrate the interstellar premiere of Extraterrestrial: The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project, part of the Hillman Photography Initiative’s Invisible Photograph documentary series, this year’s filmmakers explored the concept of outer space. With so much room for interpretation, we received a wide array of stellar entries from across the country and around the globe, and we can’t wait to share them with you!
Note: LOIRP Co-lead Keith Cowing will be a guest of the Carnegie Museum of Art as this film featuring the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project is shown in public on 10 July 2014 for the first time.
A Week With Techno-Archeologists, Static Made
“I’ve spent the past week in Mountain View, California, hanging out with a group of Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) hackers who are working out of an abandoned McDonald’s on the NASA Ames base. For more than five years, LOIRP technologists (or techno-archeologists, as they prefer to be called) have been reverse-engineering analog tape drives and developing new software in an attempt to unearth some of the first images of the moon that were taken by unmanned lunar orbiters in advance of the manned Apollo missions of the late 1960s. Upon entering the building (affectionately called “McMoon’s” by those who work within it) for the first time, I was greeted by familiar architecture. The drive-thru windows, menu light boxes, stainless steel counters, fiber glass tables and the ghosts of corporate brand ephemera all remain. However now they coexist under a jolly roger with a literal mountain of vintage 2-inch tape reels that contain trapped data, refrigerator-sized Ampex tape drives, an army of Mac workstations and a seemingly endless supply of analog tape decks, monitors, cables and soldering supplies.”
Images from the Carnegie Museum of Art team’s visit to McMoons last week on Flickr
NASA’s Original Lunar Images Are Housed in a Former McDonald’s, The Atlantic
“At an old McDonald’s at NASA Ames Research Park in Moffett Field, California, there are no Big Macs or chicken nuggets. Instead, there are reels and reels of original footage from the five lunar orbiters NASA launched in 1960. It’s all part of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project, an effort by Dennis Wingo and colleagues to digitize the old tapes. What it means is that the first image of Earth as seen from behind the moon is located in this former fast food joint, known colloquially as “McMoon’s.”
“YouTube sensation Veritasium visits an abandoned McDonalds on the NASA Ames campus to reveal the first original lunar images, now being converted from film to digital media with the NASA LOIRP project. Watch the transformation of the original lunar Earth rise!”
Keith’s note: This audio clip of the late Mike Wargo has been uploaded to LADEE. It was sent back to Earth from the Moon yesterday. Now, if anyone happens to visit the Moon and asks LADEE what it is doing there, Mike will let them know – from lunar orbit.
A Memorial Tribute for Mike Wargo will be held on October 17, 2013 from 11:00-noon with an informal reception to follow. The tribute will be held at the Cosmos Club, 2121 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington DC. Please note that the Cosmos Club requests that gentlemen wear a jacket and tie. Those who wish to give a gift in Mike’s memory are encouraged to make a donation to MIT Michael J. Wargo for the Department of Materials Science Endowed Fellowship Fund. Contact Bonny Kellerman, bonnyk -at- mit.edu or at 617-253-9722
– Crater Wargo, earlier post
– NASA Lunar Exploration Analysis Group Statement on the Passing of Dr. Michael Wargo, earlier post
– Mike Wargo, earlier post
August 15 (Bloomberg) — In this installment of Secret Valley, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ashlee Vance visits NASA’s Ames Research Center where a forgotten McDonald’s, nicknamed “McMoon’s,” serves as the headquarters for a project to digitize fifty year old photographs of the surface of the moon. (Source: Bloomberg)
SN Profile: Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), Space News
“Steve Jurvetson loves rockets. The well-known Silicon Valley venture capitalist, who attended camp at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as a child, shares images of the rockets he launches in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert on a Flickr Photostream. … Jurvetson, who sits on the board of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, both founded by Elon Musk, also donates money to space-related organizations, including the B612 Foundation, a group preparing to map near-Earth asteroids, and the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project, an effort to create a digital archive of data drawn from the analog tapes of Apollo missions.”
Dennis Wingo: NASA Ames Academy students and their parents visited the LOIRP in Bldg 596 (McMoons) at NASA Ames Research Park last week. Larger image.
Dennis Wingo: Today we had a real treat. One of my mentors from Huntsville, David Christensen, one of the early members of the von Braun team in Huntsville, came by to visit LORIP today. Dave is one of my hero’s and inspirations for what we are doing here at LORIP. Remember hearing that the Saturn V drawings were lost? Remember that years and years later the story came out that one guy saved them? That one guy was Dave. Dave also has an extensive library of Army Ballistic Missile Agency (Where Von Braun worked) information about the early Saturn designs, the redstone, and space stations.
Dave also has an extensive library of commercial space documentation and he was one of the inspirations for what was called Code C (Commercial) at NASA in the 1980s. Also, he is one of the nicest humans you ever want to meet! Take a look at this picture, can you believe he is 81? He is shown here with our student engineering intern Jacob Gold, bridging the generations of space engineers. The second picture was taken in 1958 and shows Ernst Stuhlinger, von Braun, Hermann Oberth and others seated. Dave is the second from the right standing. Dave published the world’s first space age magazine devoted to telling the public about what was going on in space. One of the covers of “Space” is the third picture. Autographed by Oberth himself!
I just got a box of advance copies of the Summer 2013 issue of the Explorers Journal published by the Explorers Club. This issue contains my article on LOIRP: “A Digital Odyssey”. I will try and get a copy posted soon. Larger image
The segment on LOIRP starts at 12:00 in this video
Dennis Wingo: Mid afternoon 6-19-13. We almost had a catastrophe yesterday. These tapes sometimes shed large chunks of oxide and this happened on tape M-91, one of the Scotch tapes. We had been observing a lot of shedding of material and that had clogged up the vacuum system, which Ken cleaned out. However, there was a large chunk wedged between the control track head (which is a separate head used to read the servo information) and the tape guide. This disrupted the geometry of the tape and contributed to getting a short length of tape sliced in two. It also created a terrible head clog (which kills all the signal from the tape from a single head of the four).
Ken disassembled the head, found the foreign matter and removed it. He also had to re-align the control track head and use a strong solvent to remove the foreign matter from one of the head tips. We are back up and running as of this afternoon as I had to go to the DMV today and in California that takes forever.
We did two tapes yesterday before the problems and I am on one today right now. It is late in the day but we should be able to finish our Madrid Scotch tape captures before I head off on a short vacation to go backpacking in the high Sierras.