Remember to Backup (Even NASA Gets it Wrong)

By Craig Buckler

Neil Armstrong's first moonwalkToday is the 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing on 20 July 1969. The Apollo 11 landing and Neil Armstrong’s first steps were watched by more than half a billion people worldwide.

To celebrate, NASA has released digitally-remastered videos of the momentous event. They have also admitted to making a monumental mistake: the original high-resolution videos of the first moon walk have probably been erased forever.

All that remains are the poor-quality television broadcast videos. These were captured by a camera pointed at a wall monitor at mission control, Houston. The original two hours of data was stored on 45 one-inch telemetry tapes, but a four-year search for the archives has been unsuccessful. NASA suspects that the tapes have been lost forever and were probably recycled. In the 70’s and 80’s, it was common practice to overwrite old tapes with electronic output from orbiting satellites.

I’m sure the conspiracy theorists will find this all very convenient and further proof that we never reached the moon in the first place!

But this is a valuable lesson for us all. None of us could admit to having data as valuable as the moon landing videos, but it’s easy to underestimate what data you have and the consequences of losing it. Your clients depend on your technical expertise: how will it look when you lose their information because you did not have a backup plan?

Have you ever lost client data? How did you explain the situation?

  • LazyAndroid

    What about those conspiracy theorist that say they found alien technology on the moon? More fuel for them too.

  • I think they admitted to losing the tapes quite a while ago, but archives have recently been found in Australia of the original broadcasts (which are the ones being remastered), where the TV signal was originally received.

  • If NASA did find any sweet alien technology on the Moon, it must not have contained any other-worldly technology for advancing ease of tape archiving.

  • I think Microsoft found alien technology and turned it into Internet Explorer, at least it’s alien to W3C standards.

  • SiberianHuskey

    Bullshit, they lost the tapes. Call me what you want, but NASA has got to be in the Top 10 organizationscompanies for lying.

  • I knew a conspiracy theorist would be compelled to share their delusions. Although it doesn’t fit with many people’s juvenile “X-Files” way of viewing things, only an idiot would ignore the fact that the lunar rocks brought back were covered in material from the solar wind (helium 3). This material can’t reach the Earth because of the magnetic field and the atmosphere, also it can’t be created in a lab. Any other “fake moon landing” evidence (that I’ve heard) can be easily refuted by anyone with a slight grasp on science.

  • Mr pseudonym

    Speaking of getting it wrong, the word “backup” is a noun.


  • What he is saying is:
    Remember to Back-up

    A backup man is a “person”, so he is stating that the headline is saying “Remember to backup” as in “Remember to backup” as in it’s a person, place ot thing.

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