There were many challenges in scanning the film, said John Anderson, a team member who worked on scanning images and decoding their info. For example, several different types of film were used to record the images, which affected the amount of light needed for each type to be scanned.
Sometimes, a reel of tape would have 3 or 4 different types of film stock taped together. The team also discovered size variants and spacing variants on the film, making it difficult sometimes to scan more than 10 or 15 photos at once. The scanning process took six months with mostly John doing it by himself, with occasional help from team member Maria Schuchardt (who runs the center) and a summer student.
The team also acknowledges the help of Texas-based Stokes Imaging, which calibrated the imaging system for digitizing the Surveyor photos and provided assistance with technical issues.
Image: The lunar surface near Surveyor 1, taken June 11, 1966. Credit: NASA/University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory