Rare footage donated by CSIRO to the NFSA

BY STEPHEN GROENEWEGEN

A rare copy of restored footage of the July 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing, previously given by NASA to the national science agency CSIRO, will now be held by the NFSA.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, Australia’s official copy of the broadcast was today donated by The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, to The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and The Arts at an event at Parliament House.

Here is an excerpt from NASA's restored footage of the Apollo 11 moonwalk on 20 July 1969. This is from the original EVA (Extravehicular Activity) mission video of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the Moon:

Relayed from Australia to the World

The donated footage is one of just three copies in the world and the only copy to be held outside of the United States. 

NASA gave the official copy of the footage to CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), in recognition of Australia’s crucial role supporting the Apollo 11 mission.

A camera on the lunar module provided live television coverage of humanity's first steps on the Moon. This coverage was relayed to an estimated 600 million television viewers by Australians, first from the NASA Honeysuckle Creek tracking station near Canberra and then from CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope in NSW.

Minister Fletcher, who accepted the footage from Minister Andrews on behalf of the NFSA, said 'The moon landing inspired millions of people and the Apollo 11 mission also had significant practical effects. It really marked the beginning of the digital age, driving dramatic advances in computing and communications.'

Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin remained on the surface of the Moon for approximately two-and-a-half hours, during which time they collected about 47 pounds of samples, and deployed four experiments. You can watch the three-hour Restored Apollo 11 Moonwalk (Original NASA EVA Mission Video on the NASA YouTube channel.

NASA has previously had a company that specialises in restoring Hollywood films enhance the footage. The donated footage will now be preserved in the NFSA collection.