Best footage of Armstrong's moonwalk to be shown Down Under

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Melbourne, Sep 29 (ANI): An unseen video footage of the Apollo 11 moonwalk discovered in Australia is set to be showcased at an awards ceremony in Sydney next week.

The footage of mission commander Neil Armstrong descending the ladder of the lunar module will be shown at the Australian Geographic Society Awards next Wednesday, said Australian Geographic in a statement.

Armstrong's descent will be among highlights of the historic 1969 moonwalk to be shown at the awards, at which lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin will be the guest of honour.

Other footage to be shown includes digitally remastered images of Armstrong's first step on the moon surface, Aldrin's descent of the ladder, the reading of the plaque and the raising of the US flag.

It is the first time the highlights reel of the restored footage will be screened.

Telescopes in remote Australia played a key role in the Apollo 11 mission, including provision of the television signal, after Armstrong decided to attempt the moonwalk early, putting the US just beyond the horizon.

John Sarkissian - historian and astronomer in charge of the Australian side of the recordings restoration project - said the unseen minutes were the "best quality of Armstrong descending the ladder".

"NASA were using the Goldstone (California) station signal, which had its settings wrong, but in the signals being received by the Australian stations you can actually see Armstrong," news.com.au quoted him as saying.

"In what people have seen before you can barely see Armstrong at all, you can see something black - that was his leg.

"When we heard Buzz was going to be the guest of honour we thought 'what a great opportunity,'" he added.

The unseen footage of Armstrong, which runs for "just a few minutes", was discovered after a 10-year search, said Australian Geographic.

There was a "long detective story" involved in the search for the footage and Sarkissian said it took painstaking frame by frame work to shift the material from the deteriorating black and white film to digital format.

"It was very damaged tape as well, that segment of Armstrong at the beginning," he said.

Digitising the recording was "significant in the space flight history context" allowing it to be preserved and copied for future generations, said Sarkissian. (ANI)

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