NASA's Original Lunar Images Are Housed in a Former McDonald's

"This is the world's most unique [ex-]McDonald's." 
More

At an old McDonald's at NASA Ames Research Park in Moffett Field, California, there are no Big Macs or chicken nuggets.

Instead, there are reels and reels of original footage from the five lunar orbiters NASA launched in 1960. It's all part of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project, an effort by Dennis Wingo and colleagues to digitize the old tapes

What it means is that the first image of Earth as seen from behind the moon is located in this former fast food joint, known colloquially as "McMoon's."

"We even had someone come in one time, and we said, this is not a McDonald's anymore. And they said, well, can we at least get a coke?" Wingo, co-founder of the project, says in the video above made by YouTube host Veritaserum. "And I said, well, I can get one out of the fridge." And a coke was served.

A McDonald's may be a banal setting for such profound work, but how charming too. Who needs grandeur, when you have something so grand?

Jump to comments
Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In