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Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landings – Recordings Sell for $1.82 million

No-one can have escaped the recent furore over the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. It’s been a global news story that has sparked the imagination of everyone. People have been awed by the images that they have seen on their TV screens.

However, in a world where to transfer 8MM to DVD and enhance old film, is the thing to do, unrestored film has really captured the headlines. This is the film that was sold at Sotheby’s for $1.82 million.

Original recordings of the moon landings

The recordings that sold for such a high price are originals that were produced by NASA. They capture the moments when history was made, and the first men set foot on the moon, on July 20, 1969.  It was a magical time which is perfectly encapsulated in the recordings which have not been restored or enhanced.

The recordings capture such historic moments as the “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” comment and the phone call from President Nixon. Watching them is like stepping back in time.

The buyer of the recordings, which run for a total of 2 hours and 24 minutes, has not been revealed. However, the seller was revealed as Gary George.

NASA intern is seller of tapes

George was an engineering student who was interning at NASA when he paid $217.77 for 1,150 reels of magnetic tape at a government surplus auction in 1976. He could never have imagined the price that some of these tapes would sell for over forty years later. He is sure to be pleased with the profit he has made on his original investment.

Recordings better than TV broadcast coverage

One of the things which makes the recordings so unique and valuable is their quality. The TV broadcast coverage of the time resulted in several tapes being made. However, these tapes have degraded with use over time and the clarity of the pictures and sound is not what it once was.

In contrast to this, the recordings which sold at Sotheby’s have a high level of clarity. The images are sharper and more distinct than their TV broadcast counterparts. They are a precious reminder of a very special time in history. They were sold at the auction alongside items from Buzz Aldrin‘s personal collection. These items included pages from the Apollo 11 flight plan, control panels from the Apollo firing room and a collage that consisted of Apollo 11 memorabilia.

However, it’s the recordings that were presented to the auction by Gary George that have really helped to ignite the imagination of people around the world. They are a permanent reminder of a time when space exploration was at the height of its fame. How long will it be before man sets foot on the moon again and more recordings of this historic act are made. It seems to be that we are edging towards a time when this will happen.