- Status Report
- Mar 25, 2023
The Apollo 11 Telemetry Data Recordings: A Final Report
Perhaps there are no clear answers. All that can be said with any certainty is that NASA and the Goddard Space Flight Center followed all procedures in storing the Apollo telemetry tapes, the search team has concluded. After reviewing their content and determining that Apollo program managers no longer needed the data, Goddard personnel shipped the telemetry tapes to WNRC for storage.
Over the ensuing years, Goddard recalled them and either reused the one-inch tapes to meet a network shortage in the early 1980s or disposed of them because of the high cost of storing them. At no time did anyone recognize the unique content on roughly 45 tapes containing the actual moonwalk video. At no time did anyone ever consider what could be possible nearly 40 years into the future with the advent of new technology.
While current leaders can do nothing to reverse decisions made 40 years ago, they can redouble their efforts to make sure historically important recordings and paperwork find a permanent home within the National Archives, particularly now as they prepare to take the Nation back to the moon.