All this week we've been featuring clips from our Apollo 1 and Challenger sets. In addition to the anniversary of the Columbia accident, there are a couple of other anniversaries we will make note of this week.
We began Spacecraft Films 11 years ago on February 1st, at least that is the day the website went live. Our idea was simple: we wanted to see the audio visual history of space exploration, in particular early space exploration through Apollo and early shuttle. We knew that since most of the material was originally acquired on film, new transfers could be made that would be of much greater quality than what existed at the time. We also wanted to see all the TV transmissions - they weren't really available anywhere.
So we set out to make our first set. DVD was relatively new at the time, but for our purposes was an excellent medium, allowing random access to lengthy TV transmissions. For the first set we chose Apollo 14. We didn't want to start with Apollo 11; Apollo 12 didn't work because we needed to rebuild the EVA after the camera was burned out, and we didn't want to start with any of the J-missions - too big a task for the first try.
So we set off to make Apollo 14, which ended up being a 5-DVD set containing all of the TV and onboard film, plus preparation, recovery and more. Since that time we completely remade the Apollo 14 set, taking what we learned from that first product (anyone have one? Originally distributed in CD jewel cases?) and improving upon it, working our way through the missions.
I'll never forget getting my first batch of transfers of the Apollo 14 material (plus Saturn 1B and Apollo 11 footage) and seeing how beautiful it looked. When I go back through a set like Apollo 14, I'm very proud. Eleven years ago, this is exactly what we set out to achieve.