An Australian awards ceremony made history when it publicly screened digitally restored extracts of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon for the first time.
Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin, who walked on the moon, attended the Australian Geographic Society Awards in Sydney as guest of honour, and watched highlights of the re-mastered footage shown.
In 2009, NASA released some extracts of the work to mark the 40th anniversary of the landing, but it has taken the Apollo 11 tape search team six years to complete full digital restoration of the two and a half hour long video.
Australian scientists and NASA searched for the original data tapes that recorded the video signal beamed from the moon, believing it all to have been erased during other mission recordings in the following years.
Led by scientist John Sarkissian, an astronomer from the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, the research team tracked any available recordings, to discover the most enhanced version of the first broadcast.
"During the course of our search for those tapes, we discovered lots of really good recordings of the broadcast which people actually saw in their homes and we have taken the best of those recordings and compiled them into a single two and a half hour video," said John Sarkissian.
They found one copy at NASA's Sydney switching center, a 16mm kinescope copy in the US National Archives, a well preserved 2" tape at CBS archives and a Super 8mm home movie taken by a scientist at Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station near Canberra.
The now re-mastered video footage is not of HD quality, however it offers a superior version of the Apollo 11 moon walk once believed lost Sarkissian said.
"We believe that what we have now is a superior quality. We don't want to give the impression that its HD quality TV or even broadcast quality but it is better than what was previously available," he said.
Sarkissian said that NASA would be looking for ways to make this digitally mastered full edition of the 1969's video available for the public soon.