"But it wasnt until late 2006, when O'Brien learned from NASAs website that the space agency had misplaced data tapes from its dust-detecting experiments, that he decided to revisit his own set of 173 tapes. NASA had sent him these tapes one by one in 1969 and 1970, when he was working at the Department of Physics at University of Sydney. He took them with him when, in 1971, he moved to Perth for a new job. O'Brien's tapes are now the only known record of data from those vintage experiments.
Working alone and self-funded, the 75-year-old scientist dedicated two years to analyzing paper charts printed out in 1969 and 1970 from the magnetic tapes, which contain 6 million measurements, most of them yet to be analyzed. "