The original video recordings of man’s first steps on the surface of the moon, 20th July 1969.

These original videotape reels are completely untouched from when they were first made recording following the Apollo 11 touch down on the moon in 1969.  They show the footage sent directly to mission control in Houston on that historic day from close circuit cameras on the moons surface.  They shots and footage the staff working at mission control would have seen on their own screens.

The technology that helped produce these films was absolutely cutting edge at the time.  A camera stowed on the module was released from its housing so that it was in position for Neil Armstrong’s historic decent of the ladder onto the moons surface.  The footage was sent via antenna to Australia and relayed onto mission control.

How these tapes survived is itself a miracle as they were originally auctioned off amongst many other NASA tapes back in 1976.  The buyer of the lot that contained these intended to sell on the tapes as they were at the time of high value to television companies given they can be used again and recorded over.

Over thirty years later in 2008 the same gentleman who had purchased the tapes in 1976 still possessed them, having noted the Apollo 11 labels on them with the help of his father he had simply held onto them.  At this time NASA were trying to locate original recordings of the landing and through this search the tapes were presented to them by the original buyer.  In late 2008 the tapes were finally played, probably for the first time since 1969 when they were made and the recordings were viewed.

Although other footage of course exists through recordings made via television stations at the time, it is believed these tapes hold the finest and most original quality recordings of the Apollo 11 landings.





Aerospace and Aviation 2019

Image Credit: Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Source: Sotheby’s