NUMU | New Museum Los Gatos and LOIRP Present

McMoons: How a Band of Scientists Saved Lunar Image History

Event has passed (Fri Sep 23, 2016 - Sun May 14, 2017)
$6 - $10
Arts, Museums


The McMoons exhibition’s mission is twofold: to shine a light on the 50th anniversary of NASA’s (1967-68) Lunar Orbiter Project that collected lunar images integral to the safe landing on the first Apollo landing on the moon, and to tell the little-known story of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) that began in 2008 to recover the original NASA Lunar Orbiter images.

McMoons will take the visitor on an extraordinary journey from a dilapidated storage space to a veterinarian’s garage in central California and on to an abandoned McDonald’s restaurant on the Moffett NASA campus in Sunnyvale. California where archival space history is still being made today.

The exhibition includes original prints from the Lunar Orbiter Project and digitized prints of the original film including a wall-sized reproduction of the first restored image - the Earth rising. Visitors can also see and touch the original film canisters and tapes and listen to original audio recordings from the Lunar Orbiter Project. Also on view are prints and video of the LOIRP Project still underway at the McDonalds “lab” on the NASA campus.


In 2008, working out of an abandoned McDonald's on the NASA campus in Sunnyvale, a group of dedicated scientists, former NASA employees, and three 12-year-old interns began a project to recover the original NASA Lunar Orbiter images from 1966-67. Due to neglect and indifference over time, the original data, stored on large tape reels, was nearly lost. Now, fifty years after the Lunar Orbiter project, this vital piece of lunar mission history has been saved, enhanced and is being digitized thanks to the tenacity and foresight of a handful of self described “techno-archaeologists.”

A Members and Special Guests Preview Party will be held on Thursday, November 3, 7pm-9pm. A Public Opening Celebration will be held on Saturday, November 5th, 11am-5pm

NUMU is proud to collaborate with the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project and NASA on this exhibition.

More Info

408.354.2646 (Box Office)
Contact Form (account required)


NUMU Museum
106 E. Main Street
Los Gatos, CA
Event has passed



  1. NUMU Museum
    106 E. Main Street, Los Gatos, CA