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Space museum receives grant to digitize films

This small group of films will be among those digitized with the SPACE 3.0 “One Small Step” grant and include a silent Apollo 14 briefing film, Gemini Category film, and one about Apollo 16. (Courtesy NMMSH)

The New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo will continue its mission to preserve space history thanks to a grant from the Space 3.0 Foundation, Inc.

Museum curator Sue Taylor applied for the “One Small Step” grant, which will allow the museum to digitize more than a dozen space-related 16mm films in the museum’s permanent collection. The films date back to the 1960s, and several are associated with the Gemini and Apollo programs.

bright spotScott Sacknoff, Space 3.0 Foundation, Inc. chair, said that small sums can make a difference and the “One Small Step” grant program identifies projects that help fill in the gaps in space history preservation. The grants range from $250 to $1,000.

“Digitizing and color correcting these films from the golden age of human spaceflight will not only help preserve them, but also will make them available to researchers and the public,” Sacknoff said. “This proposal from the New Mexico Museum of Space History is an example of what we’ve been seeking – making the history of spaceflight more accessible and preserving materials for future generations.” Sacknoff said.

According to the museum, once the project is complete, videos will be available through both the museum and Space 3.0 Foundation, Inc.

“We are delighted to have been the first museum chosen for this grant and to finally be able to bring these old films into the digital world so that everyone can … learn from and enjoy them,” Taylor said.

The project is expected to begin in the next few months and should be complete by spring 2022.

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