Moon Landing Anniversary: Sound Restored to Original Film
Moon Landing Anniversary: July 20
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men to land on the Moon. Fellow astronaut Michael Collins remained aboard the Columbia command module as the landing module, the Eagle, touched down on the rocky lunar surface. Armstrong would then take humanity's first steps on the Moon.
41 years later, the silent footage of Armstrong's and Aldrin's first steps on the lunar surface have been matched to the audio track of the astronauts' communication with mission control in Houston.
Stephen Slater Restores Sound to Moon Landing Mission Control Footage
Filmmaker Stephen Slater was able to synch eight minutes of film, ingeniously using the mission clock in the control-room shots, which showed the Ground Elapsed Time (GET) of the mission, as synchronization points.
For example, we can now hear both sides of the conversation between Houston and Apollo 11 as the capsule touches down on the surface of the Moon. The hit-and-miss quality of the actual film coverage highlights how dangerous it was to send people into outer space at a time where even getting steady film coverage was not yet reliable.
After much trial and error, Slater managed to find a number of definite synchronisation points from the film rolls of both cameras, and so for the first time we can now say exactly when this historic footage was captured. His work has brought to life a few of the most well known pieces of mission audio.