I've previously asked about how the recordings from the Apollo missions were originally recorded, and then transcribed; but I forgot about the video as well! It's well known that for some of the Apollo missions, when things didn't go awry, that video of the Lunar EVA's were broadcast live. However, when you think about it, it seems highly unlikely that NASA didn't have a back-up plan for the lunar footage.
For Apollo 16 and 17 there were problems with the Antennas which prevented the recording of the first steps on the moon from being transmitted for these missions. Does that footage exist on "tapes" brought back from the moon or something analogous? Or was the live stream being backed up at mission control and when the antenna went down, did all hope of getting that footage go with it? What was their backup plan?
My question is: Was the live stream back to Earth the only stream of data being recorded and the only life-line for the sending of visual images back to Earth? Was there any of the following:
- A "tape-deck" on the LM (I don't know what format this would be in).
- Physically recorded at the time of capture, to the Rover or LM.
- Tapes brought back to Earth with the return of the capsule.
- A recorder on the CM or back at mission control recording the live stream?
- Would still suffer from black-outs of the live stream.
- Something else?
- Nothing else?
I don't know what data-compression looked like during these missions, but it wouldn't shock me if no local recordings were taken. The reels for the sound recordings alone were huge, I can't imagine what an AV reel looked like back then.