We’re Coming to London!
I’m excited to announce that John P and I will be doing the opening keynote for the Future of Web Apps conference in London! That’s right! You’ve been asking us to get across the pond for years, and we’re finally coming! Be sure to register for the conference at futureofwebapps.com. And we’ll have details on a viewer meetup soon! If you know of any tech or just plain geeky stories we should get on video while we’re there, be sure to let me know!
Planning for Apollo
In 1966 and 1967, NASA sent the Lunar Orbiter satellites to the moon to help plan landing sites for the Apollo missions. The Orbiter’s photos were transmitted back to earth where they were transferred to film for analysis.
Preservation in a Garage
The story might have ended there if not for engineer Charles Byrne, who convinced NASA to record all the Orbiter data on magnetic tapes, as well as NASA archivist Nancy Evans – who not only saved the tapes, but also the machines they were recorded on by carting them off to her garage when they were supposed to go to the scrap heap.
The Moon in McDonald’s
Fast forward to 2007 when some NASA contractors learn that 1,500 tapes and the 600 pound refrigerator-sized Ampex FR-900 recorders still exist. The tapes and the decrepit machines were re-united in a NASA building no one wanted: Building 596 – an abandoned McDonald’s at Moffett Field near San Francisco. It’s now nicknamed “McMoons.”
The Changing Face of the Moon
One year later the FR-900 readers were up and running and researchers are getting another look at the moon of the 1960s. Those images can be compared with mapping being done now and the end result will let us learn more about the changing surface of the moon, such as the effects of lunar erosion and meteorite strikes.