When We Left Earth – HD-TV in the 60’s?

Yesterday, as I was watching Discovery Channel’s new series When We Left Earth, I noticed something peculiar. The test, launch and space footage from NASA was in HD and in 16:9 ratio (without pillar-boxing). I started to wonder if they cropped the top and bottom of the footage (beam-boxing??). After doing some research, it looks like NASA did a deal with Discovery to let them convert all the original footage into HD (and presumably digital) to use in their documentary. However, NASA gets all the converted footage for their archives.

Source of the footage aside, the When We Left Earth’s strong point was the fact that they have interviews with the actual people involved with the missions. From astronauts to mission control specialists to family members. So the amount of detail and behind the scenes information they provide is unmatched in anything else I’ve seen before about the space race. It’s not just presented as a history lesson, but more like the viewer is part of the NASA team racing to put a man into space… and on the moon.

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