Subject: NASA Shuttle Hand-Held Photography
From: John L Faundeen
Date: May 22, 2006

The U.S. Geological Survey's National Center for Earth Resources Observation Science (EROS) is offering up it's copy of the NASA Shuttle Hand-Held Photography. This film collection involves 338,000 frames / 3,698 rolls of 70-mm and 5-inch format photography acquired by the Shuttle astronauts from December 1988 to August 2001. The film rolls are second and third generation copies of the original film maintained by the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. EROS does not have metadata for these rolls and they are available "as is." The EROS copy of the Shuttle Hand Held Photography is a subset of the entire collection owned and maintained at NASA. More information on the Shuttle collection is available at:

Responses to this notice of intent to purge by the U.S. Geological Survey can be addressed to:

John Faundeen, Archivist
U.S. Geological Survey
Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science
Sioux Falls, SD 57198 USA
Tel: 605-594-6092/Fax: 707-222-0223/


Subject: Apollo Film
From: John L Faundeen
Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2005 12:44 pm

All Interested Parties,

The USGS possesses copies of several Apollo and Apollo-Soyuz film rolls.
The USGS has determined that this collection does not align with our land
remote sensing mission and plans to dispose of this collection completely.
The creator of the records, NASA, has been informed of our plans and has
given the USGS permission to dispose of the collection.

Anyone interested in this collection is invited to contact me directly.
Additional information about the collection is listed below my signature

The spatial extent of the Apollo collection is global when all of the
oblique frames are included. Near-vertical frames exist for the 33
degrees North and South coverage area. The overall scale varies between
1:1,000,000 and 1:3,000,000 depending on lens configuration and altitude.
All four film types of black-and-white, black-and-white infrared, natural
color, and color infrared exist. Of the 85 rolls at USGS, 72 are of the
70-mm format, 10 are of the 5-inch, and 3 of the 9-inch size. A total of
15,842 frames exist at USGS.

April 1968 to July 1975 is the timeframe of the imagery, though it is not
contiguous. Only 25% of the frames have been indexed geographically.

The media that the frames are on exist primarily on 70-mm film. We
possess ten rolls of 5-inch film and three rolls of 9-inch film. The
total collection contains 85 rolls or 15, 842 frames.

The Apollo archive includes film obtained from all of the Apollo flights.
Photographs from missions 6, 7, and 9 were hand-held and multispectral
experiments. The Multispectral Terrain Photography experiment on Apollo 9
provided the first orbital photographs of the earth's surface in three
separate spectral bands, and helped to set a precedent for future programs
including the Skylab and Landsat programs. The Apollo archive also
includes Lunar Mapping Camera photographs from missions 15 through 17,
full views of the earth and moon, and historical imagery such as the first
moon landing by man. The Apollo archive includes photography from the
Apollo-Soyuz mission which was the first international manned space
flight. The mission was designed to test the compatibility of rendezvous
and docking systems for American and Soviet spacecraft with intent for
international space rescue and additional joint manned missions. As part
of the Apollo-Soyuz project, the Earth Observation and Photography
Experiment was conducted with the objective of collecting data for
oceanography, hydrology, geology, meteorology, and environmental science

Subject: NASA Purge Alert
From: John L Faundeen
Date: Monday, February 28, 2005 7:57 am

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center wants to do a purge alert on dataset
that appears to be a cross between NOAA AVHRR and Landsat TM data.
We are considering releasing 412 boxes containing 2064 11x14 inches
HCMM Digital Encoded media (P-tapes) from the U.S. National Archives and
Records Adminsitration Federal Record Center. According to our personnel
this seems to be confirmed in the dataset brief description below, hardware
and software no longer exist to handle these data by NASA. This dataset is
not sufficiently documented and thus is not useable by NASA. The original
data provider, Mr. Charles M. MacKenzie has since retired from the NASA


Back in the summer of 1988, NASA Code 562/GSFC had identified the necessary
hardware and software to convert the analog high density tapes (HDT) to
CCT. Since then, the analog system has probably been excessed/cannibalized
and the capability to convert the tapes was lost permanently.

When considering the data set's scientific values, the conversion into CCT
was termed "debatable" by NASA. The data set was old, but the data producer
thought it was well calibrated. It has high resolution in the IR (> NOAA
AVHRR, << Landsat TM) and is unique for thermal measurements because of a 2 p.m.
equatorial crossing time.

Point of Contact for Additional Information:

Jeanne Behnke
EOS Data and Information Systems (ESDIS) Office

Subject: USGS Landsat RBV Digital Data
From: "John L Faundeen"
Date: Monday, October 27, 2003 9:17 am


This Data Purge Alert confirms the USGS intention to dispose of our Landsat
Return Beam Vidicon (RBV) digital data. The USGS received formal
permission to dispose of this data yesterday from our National Archives and
Records Administration (NARA). Over 150,000 images, residing on 2,025
tapes and occupying 15 pallets, are affected. The images were collected
from March of 1978 through January of 1983. The USGS sought this permission
because a) no system in the world can currently read these tapes and cool.gifif
a system did exist and the data could be transcribed, the inherent problems
with the RBV data itself would remain.

John Faundeen, Archivist The National Imagery Archive @ USGS EDC
U.S. Geological Survey        Tel: 605-594-6092
EROS Data Center              Fax: 707-222-0223
47914-252nd Street           E-mail:

Sioux Falls, SD 57198 USA URL:

Of all national assets, archives
are the most precious; they are
the gift of one generation to
another and the extent of our
care of them marks the extent of
our civilization. - Sir Arthur G.
Doughty, Dominion Archivist,
Canada, 1904-1935

Subject: USGS Purging Landsat RBV Digital Data
From: "John L Faundeen"
Date: Monday, September 9, 2002 12:25 pm

The USGS intends to purge it's archive of Landsat RBV digital data in t he
next few months. Any organization interested in the data may contact m e.
Please read the background information below.

The RBV sensor was employed on Landsats 1-3 and utilized vidicon tube
instruments containing an electron gun that read images from a
photoconductive faceplate similar to television cameras. The data stre am
received from the satellite was analog-to-digital preprocessed to corre ct
for radiometric and geometric errors and written to high-density tapes
(HDTs). The effective ground resolution of the RBV data is 30 meters. The
RBV sensor was considered the primary payload aboard the early Landsat
satellite while the Multispectral Scanner (MSS) sensor was considered t o be
experimental. Shortly after the receipt of several RBV images it was
discovered that several sensor-induced errors where inherent in the RBV
data stream that could not be corrected for. Conversely, the MSS senso r
performed beyond expectations and quickly became the de facto primary
sensor while RBV data was considered to be of very limited value. More
than seven defects1 were documented in the RBV data, with multiple defe cts
often present in each image. Because of these problems, the data strea m
was projected to have limited value to researchers and few resources we re
expended to ensure that the data could be read through time. For at le ast
10 years, no capability has existed at the USGS to read the RBV digital
data. In discussions with the Ottawa Canada Centre for Remote Sensing
(CCRS), who had previously archived RBV data, it was relayed that CCRS had
discarded these data several years ago and were not aware of any system in
the world capable of reading RBV HDTs. No US Agency, including the USG S,
is interested in investing the projected millions of dollars it would t ake
to design, engineer, and operate a new RBV processing system primarily
because all of the inherent defects would still be present. Brief
summaries of the physical holdings reveal the following information abo ut
the USGS RBV digital data:

|-------------------------------------+-------------------------------- -----|
| Number of Tapes | 2,025|
|-------------------------------------+-------------------------------- -----|
| Type of Tapes | High Density Tape (HDT)|
|-------------------------------------+-------------------------------- -----|
| Approximate Number of Images | 15 3,000|
|-------------------------------------+-------------------------------- -----|
| Approximate Date Span |March of 1978 through January of 1983|
|-------------------------------------+-------------------------------- -----|
| Number of Pallets to Hold Data | 15*|
|-------------------------------------+-------------------------------- -----|

1 EROS Data Center, 1981. "Landsat 3 Return Beam Vidicon Response
Artifacts: A Report on RBV Photographic Product Characteristics and
Quality Coding System. U.S. Geological Survey, EROS Data Center, Sioux
Falls, SD.

(See attached file: RBV.jpg)

John Faundeen
U.S. Geological Survey
47914-252nd Street
EROS Data Center
Sioux Falls, SD 57198 USA
Tel: 605-594-6092
Fax: 707-222-0223



Subject: Early Landsat Film 02/24/2001 11:45:03 AM
Date: Saturday, February 24, 2001 11:45 am

CEOS Participants,

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is planning on
purging it's early Landsat film inventory. Many list server subscribers
were alarmed by this intention. The USGS has multiple copies of this film
and intends to preserve them. A memo to this affect is attached.

(See attached file: landsat 1-3 NARA purging film response.doc)

Thank you,

John Faundeen
Chief, Data Management
U.S. Geological Survey
EROS Data Center
Sioux Falls, SD 57198
Tel: 605-594-6092
Fax: 707-222-0223
landsat_1_3_NARA_purging_film_response.doc - (application/msword)


Subject: Latest on India
From: "John Faundeen"
Date: Friday, April 21, 2000 8:49 am

CEOS / WGISS Members,

USGS has received an official letter from India opening up discussions on transferring the Landsat MSS and TM data to USGS that India proposes to purge.

- John