Extended Warranties in Space July 31, 2006 My colleague Nell Boyce has a fascinating story on Morning Edition today about the first video pictures of Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon. Anybody of a certain age will never forget those blurry grey images of a what appeared to be a pair of space-suited legs lumbering down a ladder and onto to the lunar surface. As Nell explains, the pictures were so blurry because they were actually pictures of pictures. The original transmissions were incompatible with normal broadcast TV, so engineers used a standard TV camera to take a picture of a monitor displaying the higher quality video being sent from the camera on the moon. The NASA engineers who made the first lunar TV camera were justifiably pleased with their handiwork. In fact, Stan Labar, one of the engineers involved in building the it, thinks the camera would still work today if there were someone around to turn it on. He could be right. Engineers have gotten pretty good at building cameras that work on other solar bodies. The Mars Rover cameras were certainly built to last. They're still snapping pictures almost two and a half years after their warranties expired.