Cartoon by Chris Madden
Cartoon by Chris Madden

NASA has uncovered the original analog tapes recording the first moon landing 40 years after they were lost shortly after they were shot. According to the Sunday Express, the tapes will provide a clearer picture of the Apollo 11 crew’s activities than the blurrier footage we grown accustomed to.

However, viewers have only ever seen such poor quality footage because the original analogue tapes containing the pictures beamed direct from the lunar surface were lost almost as soon as they were recorded.

Instead, a poor quality copy made from a 16mm camera pointing at a heavily compressed image on a black and white TV screen has been the only record of the event.

Sounds great. As soon as they are up on the Internetx, I’ll force my kids to watch them with awe and wonder. “Feel the AWE! Feel the WONDER!” Then I will wax rhapsodic about Man’s innate drive to explore and conquer peoples with less developed military technologies. “Look at the stars, children,” I will intone sonorously with a slight catch in my voice. “That way lies our Manifest Density.”

Actually, I totally support space exploration, including a trip to Mars for study and possible colonization, should we ever get the technology challenges worked out. Sometimes I think fellow advocates get a little carried away.

Speaking of getting carried away, the Sunday Express places great confidence in the new tapes to perform what is probably miraculous:

Crucially, they could once and for all dispel 40 years of wild conspiracy theories.

On the contrary, I predict another forty years of even wilder conspiracy theories. Just start with the question, “Why are they just finding these tapes, now, huhhhh? How could a vast bureaucracy like NASA misplace evidence from what is supposed to be the biggest feat of exploration since Magellan, huh? HUH?” Then let your paranoid fantasies fly free.

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