Recorded Sound Research Centre of Library of Congress provides a historical perspective of Apollo’s Mission to the Moon
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Washington, July 19 (Canadian-Media): Library of Congress' recordings of the celebration of the achievements of the US space program in bringing a human to the moon with the successful mission of Apollo 11 provides a historic perspective of these events, Library of Congress (LoC) reports said.
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In 1960s, radio was still the primary source for breaking news and National Broadcasting Company (NBC) had provided special coverage of nearly every development of the space race, beginning with the USSR’s launch of Sputnik through the harrowing journey of Apollo 13.
NBC began recording portions of its network broadcasts in 1936, using metal discs coated in a thin layer of nitrocellulose, known today as lacquer discs. Each side of a lacquer could capture a 15 minute program. Magnetic tape would not be available in the US until after World War II. The radio record of the space race was captured on lacquer discs, a groove cut into a surface not far removed from the cylinders and shellac discs of the 1890s
The Library of Congress, through the NBC Radio Collection provides coverage of each launch, each milestone and each disappointment, in the march toward the moon and the stars beyond
using technologies to preserve the 20th century achievements were achievement of an earlier era.
NBC continued to record on to lacquer discs even after the advent of magnetic recording, which allowed for easy editing and longer playing times. When NBC donated their collection of these discs to the Library, it totaled over 125,000 discs. One of those discs reported the first words spoken on the moon.
NBC’s coverage of the space race can be heard in the Library of Congress' Recorded Sound Research Center (RSRC) and can be searched for in our SONIC catalog. These and thousands of recordings of radio broadcast are available for listening.
It is reported that a close cousin of the stylus that engraved Thomas Edison’s voice onto a wax cylinder also traced the first reports of footsteps on an alien world.