The LORIP project was founded by Skycorp and Spaceref to recover the original images from the master tapes of the NASA Lunar Orbiter spacecraft that mapped the Moon in 1966-67.
In 1966 and 1967 NASA sent five spacecraft to map the Moon. This was the first mission of its type and the Moon was mapped in its entirety from space before the Earth was. The purpose of these spacecraft were to provide high resolution images of the lunar surface to support the landings of the Apollo spacecraft.
In 1966 NASA did not know what the lunar surface looked like in detail. Some very senior scientists and engineers surmised that there was a great danger of the Apollo lunar landers landing in dust that would bury the spacecraft. The Lunar Orbiters mapped the lunar surface in the near term equatorial region at approximately 1 meter resolution. This allowed the identification of rocks and other debris that negated the dust model of the surface. Also by identifying small features on the surface and area for the first landings could be chosen with minimal danger to the crew.
Fast forward 43 years later and the LOIRP project was founded to recover the images from the mission. By applying technology from the modern period the original image information on the tapes can be recovered and digitally processed to bring out details impossible to obtain from the film record made of these images in the 1960’s. Today the LORIP project is providing these images to the National Space Science Data Center, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, the USGS, and the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.
The LORIP project has received international acclaim for its efforts at the preservation of the Apollo era legacy of NASA. We have even coined the term “technoarcheology” for the preservation of information of a technological nature. The LORIP project is continuing with a finishing date of September of 2013. Please visit www.moonviews.com for more information. Links to other relevant information is provided here:
• NASA Lunar Science Institute
• LOIRP Wikipedia Page
Raw Science visits the LOIRP Project at Skycorp HQ!
Digital Amnesia Documentary: Directed by Bregtje van der Haak / produced by VPRO Backlight, The Netherlands
In an old McDonald’s restaurant in Mountain View, CA, CEO of Skycorp Incorporated, Dennis Wingo is trying to retrieve the very first images of the moon.