Ed Driscoll

Space: 1966

“CNN calls this ‘The hackers who recovered NASA’s lost lunar photos,” James Lileks writes at his Minneapolis Star-Tribune blog. “No hacking seems to have been involved, at least in the sense of breaking into computers. More like “guys who were good at image enhancement are fixing some old pictures:”

Says one of the geeks:

“We’re reaching back to a capability that existed but couldn’t be touched back when it was created,” says Keith Cowing, co-lead and founding member at LOIRP. “It’s like having a DVD in 1966, you can’t play it. We had resolution of the Earth of about a kilometer [per pixel]. This is an image taken a quarter of a f***king million miles away in 1966. The Beatles were warming up to play Shea Stadium at the moment it was being taken.”

It’s the Effing that really drives it home, doesn’t it?

Though 1966 was bookended by horrors both approximately two years prior — and two years into the future, and like James, I’m quite happy living in a world with the Internet, rather than without it, but it must been quite remarkable to be in America that year, when both the moon landings and the Beatles were still going concerns, still with great moments ahead in their futures. (And TV wasn’t too bad, either.)

Alas, NASA has far more pressing priorities these days than sending men to the moon, and the Beatles’ influence on pop music left the building a long time ago.