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Noted: McMoon's and the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project via Engadget

McMoon's and the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project via Engadget

McMoon's and the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project via Engadget

If you've ever used Street View on Google Maps to preview an unfamiliar travel destination, then you'll understand the reasoning behind NASA's Lunar Orbiter missions during the late '60s. The space probes were doing reconnaissance and beamed back 160 pairs of images covering a total of 12,000 square miles of lunar landscape. Unfortunately, the technology at the time resulted in less-than-ideal photographic quality. In 2008, however, a group called the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) was able to track down the original tapes and restore them to their full resolution. The LOIRP set up shop in an abandoned McDonald's -- which they dubbed McMoon's -- near the NASA Ames Research Park in California and began wrangling archived tape reels and defunct machinery to help them achieve their goal. The story was documented for the Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) and released this week as Extraterrestrial: The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project. It's the third installment of CMOA's The Invisible Photograph series, which deals with imagery that's been lost, degraded or almost destroyed.

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