Anil Ambani firm helping restore Moon Mission footage


Mumbai : The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s film and entertainment arm Adlabs has been helping restore invaluable footage of the Apollo 11 mission that had put the first human on Moon 40 years ago.

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The restored images, as part of an ongoing programme, include the sequences showing Neil Armstrong’s historic descent down the ladder of the spacecraft and installing the US flag on the Moon.

The restoration work was initiated by Lowry Digital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adlabs Films, on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), according to an announcement by Adlabs here Friday.

Lowry Digital has completed the initial phase of the restoration of a 150-minute-long footage beamed to NASA from Apollo 11. The entire restoration work is expected to be completed by September, the company said.

The restoration mission was commissioned by NASA as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the 1969 Moon landing July 20. Portions of it will be shown to the media in Washington later Friday.

Apart from Armstrong’s descent on the Moon, the footage also shows images captured by him and his associate Edwin Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the Earth’s only satellite during that mission.

Adlabs Film chief executive Anil Arjun said the footage is being digitally restored using Lowry Digital’s proprietary Lowry Process.

“We feel honoured to have been selected by NASA to carry out the restoration of this historic footage, which will be lauded by generations to come. Neil Armstrong’s walk on the Moon is a defining event in human history and we are proud to be now a part of that history,” Arjun observed.

The Lowry Process incorporates powerful imaging algorithms which have been fine-tuned over the course of more than 400 major feature film restorations.

“It uses temporal image processing science to reduce noise, improve details and regain proper contrast, resolution and noise levels,” said the company’s chief operating officer Mike Inchalik.

Even NASA is pleased with the outcome of the initial restoration work.

“All of us at NASA are excited by the possibilities that Lowry Digital’s technology is bringing to the restoration of this historic event,” said Richard Nafzger, an engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, who oversaw television processing at the ground tracking sites during Apollo 11.

Among Lowry Digital’s other clients are industry giants like Walt Disney, Paramount Pictures, MGM, 20th Century Fox and entertainment leaders like George Lucas and James Cameron.

Adlabs is India’s largest cinema chain with about 450 screens spread across India, the US, the Netherlands and Malaysia.

Adlabs’ television venture, BIG Synergy, is among the top players in the television programming industry.