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Souvenirs from the moon landing

Blog Post

50-year anniversary of the moon landing – the souvenirs 😊

A big part of the Apollo 11 mission, as well as to say that we’d been there, was to see what there is there and bring back some samples for scientists to have a really good look at.

So while on their moonwalks, Armstrong and Aldrin conducted their own experiments and collected samples to bring home. They did things like observe how easy it was to walk, hop and jump, and how well they could balance. They also observed the temperature, whether there was any movement in the air, and noticed how the moon dust was so fine it stuck to their spacesuits. All up, they collected 22kg of material, including rocks and dust, and core samples (which on examination back on Earth, showed no signs of water or life). 🌑

Of course, they couldn’t just keep adding weight to Eagle, so they also left a lot of non-essential stuff on the moon including an American flag, a plaque, some moon boots, a camera, various tools and gear and human waste (safely contained in bags).

They also left footprints on the moon, which could be there forever due to the lack of erosion by wind or water. (The moon does get bombarded by meteorites from time to time, so that could land on a footprint and remove it, however.) 👟

Back on Earth, the astronauts were subject to the newly created Extra-Terrestrial Exposure Law, which meant they had to sit in quarantine for three weeks until they received a clean bill of health. Columbia also had to be in isolation until scientists were sure there was nothing on it that could cause human harm.

So there you have it! Still one of the most significant achievements of mankind, the Apollo 11 mission 50 years ago this week is an absolute wealth of amazing scientific and engineering feats.

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Published July 19, 2019

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