Hi rez images from NASA's 1967/8 Lunar Orbiters were withheld to hide US spying capabilities

That’s one of a very interesting series of articles.

Thanks for the link!

Yeah I think that is the WAAS system which the GP mentions. I have seen it used in aviation, where there is always a large error when you consider 3 dimensional positioning. It uses GPS receivers at known locations which broadcast an offset over radio.

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Other article I’ve read state that the reason for the lower resolution and other issues is that there was no way at the time to print out these images directly from the data. They had to image strips and interleave them and then re-photograph them to get a usable image. Not that they were deliberately degraded for security reasons.

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Former projectionist here, too. I worked some old school tech – both our auditoriums had twin reel to reel projectors, carbon arc lamp-houses, with manual changeovers. None of this xenon and platter stuff for us.

It’s interesting to note that film, despite being considered “analog” still has a lossy quality due to film grain which results from the distribution of chemicals on both the original film-stock and subsequent distribution film-stock. There are certain types of photographic media which aren’t as grainy but these require longer exposure times and/or are generally more expensive for materials and processing. Motion picture and general photography film-stock had to strike a compromise – it needs smaller exposure time and it needs to be cheap.

Most all-digital film productions will add graininess in post production to make the films more “cinematic”; un-doctored raw digital footage from a high resolution digital camera looks hyperreal, “cold”, and “sterile” (I personally think it looks really cool on a medium sized cinema screen).

I’m sure NASA spared no expense – they probably had the best optics, the best film stock, and the best development process.

Anyhow rambling here.


A properly applied, genuinely randomized layer of temporal noise over a pixel-grid movie in a certain frame rate range counter-intuitively improves the amount of detail the human eye/brain can perceive.



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