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Zoom and Enhance!
June 27, 2014 3:56 AM   Subscribe

When Falcon 9 attempted its soft water landing it recorded video, sadly not in the best condition. But SpaceX released the video to the public in the hope of recovering more. The NASA Space Flight forums released a description of how they restored the video.
posted by ElliotH (16 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is basically black magic.

(On a related note, I don't understand why they would use MPEG4 for things that are prone to corruption. MJPEG would be better, or possibly some other format where each macroblock of each frame is independent.)
posted by ymgve at 4:55 AM on June 27


They were expecting to have a ship and an airplane nearby for high quality reception. That they got any telemetry at all was close to a miracle.
posted by localroger at 4:58 AM on June 27


They picked it up with a pizza dish according to Elon.
posted by ElliotH at 5:02 AM on June 27


so, I watched the second video and thought "uh, what's special about this?"

Don't make my mistake! Watch the first video and then the second!
posted by rebent at 5:53 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Their further enhanced video is amazing.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:02 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


I was very amused when they released the original video. Musk tweeted two stills that looked pretty good, and hyped everyone up, and then in the actual video, those were the only two keyframes that were any good at all, and the rest was garbage. Amazing that they were able to recover so much.
posted by smackfu at 6:05 AM on June 27


so a bunch of smart folks gave away their time and expertise for over a month to do some non-trivial heavy lifting and coding to restore the video. And got some props from NASA and elon musk out of it, but no tesla in their garage .. Elon's got lots of money to, you know, hire folks to do that work, but why bother when people will do it for free..
posted by k5.user at 7:32 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


SpaceX improvised, sending CEO Elon Musk’s private jet out to the landing area with a small satellite dish affixed behind a window.

That was very nice of him. Who says noblesse oblige is dead ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:07 AM on June 27


That first video is some pretty nice video art.
posted by yoink at 8:21 AM on June 27


I'm not sure this is something SpaceX/Elon could have actually hired someone to do. It seems like this broke quite a lot of new ground in video restoration thanks to the crowd sourcing approach. Sending gifts along would be classy though.
posted by ElliotH at 8:25 AM on June 27


Elon's got lots of money to, you know, hire folks to do that work, but why bother when people will do it for free..

OTOH, SpaceX didn't really care. They did some basic restoration to remove corrupted headers so it would play and then gave up, because this particular video isn't really that meaningful. This launch was April 18th, and the next launch and landing attempt was supposed to be on May 10th, and that launch would probably have fine video.

Of course, that next launch has been delayed a few times, which gave people a lot of time to work on restoring the video.
posted by smackfu at 8:25 AM on June 27


My early-teenaged self is now wondering if NASA could have helped with all that scrambled porn on channel 38.
posted by bicyclefish at 8:25 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


I actually learned about a lot of these concepts from the How to Datamosh video. It's kinda the opposite.
posted by odinsdream at 8:27 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


My early-teenaged self is now wondering if NASA could have helped with all that scrambled porn on channel 38.

Where do you think these guys honed their skills?!?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:26 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Thanks, dorkmo!
posted by dirigibleman at 9:44 AM on June 27


This is basically black magic.

Electronics engineers us a specific technical term for this sort of work: FM. It means "F-ing Magic."
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:54 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


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