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For nearly 40 years, the complete photographic record from the Apollo moon project sat in a freezer at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, almost untouched, until now.
A new digital archive – created through a collaboration between ASU and NASA – is making available on the Internet high-resolution scans of original Apollo flight films. These startling images will be accessible to both researchers and the general public, to browse or download, at:apollo.sese.asu.edu
The moon images filmed by astronauts during NASA’s Apollo program have never been seen in high-resolution detail by the public, or even by most lunar scientists.
The project will take about three years to complete and will scan some 36,000 images. These include about 600 frames in 35 mm, roughly 20,000 Hasselblad 60 mm frames (color, and black and white), more than 10,000 mapping camera frames, and about 4,600 panoramic camera frames.
To extract all the details from the film, Robinson decided to scan the black and white images at a resolution of 200 pixels per millimeter, far beyond what most scanning involves. Color images are at 100 or 120 pixels per millimeter.
Says White, "We're going well past the film grain."
To record their historic voyages and collect scientific observations many thousands of photographs were acquired with handheld and automated cameras during all the Apollo missions.