July 17, 2009


NASA commissioned Lowry Digital to restore roughly two-and-a-half hours of material that astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin captured during their 1969 expedition. The preliminary restoration included highlight sequences, such as Armstrong's famous descent of the ladder and the planting of the American flag. The overall restoration is ongoing, and images will continue to be refined, with a planned completion in September.

The footage is being restored using the studio's proprietary "Lowry Process," which incorporates powerful imaging algorithms that have been fine-tuned over the course of more than 400 major feature film restorations. The technology uses temporal image processing science to reduce noise, improve detail, and regain proper contrast, resolution and noise levels.

The images entrusted to Lowry were processed by television scan converters located at NASA's tracking sites. The materials were gathered from a wide variety of sources and part of Lowry's challenge was to untangle the knot of formats, frame rates and resolutions.

Lowry also developed a number of specific solutions to address to the problems of the Apollo 11 images. Some issues were introduced in the original photography; others in the transmission and recordings. Further flaws were introduced in the translation to other formats and media, while others are the result of the media aging.

Lowry Digital is delivering the restored images in HD to NASA.