IMO I think people don't appreciate just how MUCH MORE data is in the second photo. Like, think of the old quote:The difference 50 years makes:
It's amazing to me how similar they look, actually.
That's in 1985. The article here updates it for SD cards: https://what-if.xkcd.com/31/Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.
Computer Networks, 3rd ed., p. 83. (paraphrasing Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, University of Toronto Computing Services (UTCS) circa 1985)
Your quote is quite appropriate, since the amount of data was so huge that in order to generate the bandwidth they required for this kind of project, they literally had to fly hard drives back and forth by plane.