7 Strange Things That Have Been Left On the Moon


apollo  16 mission crew
Pic Credits: theatlantic
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Since Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon, human beings have gotten used to accomplishing this feat. We no longer consider it as something out of the ordinary, and are already setting sights on conquering the space even further. With rovers dissecting Mars and satellites traveling 3 billion miles to reach Pluto, there is no reason why we ever need to stop thinking otherwise. But if you travel to the moon today, you might find pretty bizarre and interesting things other than the prevalent rubble and moon dust. Here is a list of 7 weird things human beings have sent to the moon over time:

1. TWO GOLF BALLS

Other than holding the feat of being the 5th and the oldest person who visited the moon, Alan Shepard also is the first man to play a round of golf there. In his own words, the ball went “miles and miles” when he hit it using a Wilson-branded six-iron club head attached to a lunar sample scoop handle. Shepard made two drives, and although he brought the club back to Earth, which is now currently residing in the United States Golf Association Museum in New Jersey, but he couldn’t retrieve the balls due to the sheer distance travelled by them.

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Picture Credits: USGA/USGA Museum
Picture Credits: USGA/USGA Museum

2. THE FALLEN ASTRONAUT

Pic Credits: NASA – Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Some would say the space is a canvas itself, with nature creating the most magnificent and meaningful pieces of art on it. But on a more humanly perceivable scale, there is some art in the space other than on our planet. One example is of the Fallen Astronaut, which is a 3.3-inch aluminium model created by Belgian artist Paul Van Hoeydonck. It was placed on the surface by the crew of the Apollo 15, intended to honor and commemorate the brave and committed astronauts and scientists who died while pursuing space exploration. It has the distinction of being the first sculpture on the moon, but Van Hoeydonck wasn’t too satisfied about it, saying that he intended it to be placed upright so that it can represent all humanity.

3. A PIECE OF LAVA FROM DEVIL’S LAKE IN OREGON

Picture Credits: offbeatoregon
Picture Credits: offbeatoregon

Although this could turn out to be truly confusing for the future moon explorers in case record of this move somehow vanishes, Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin left a small piece of solidified lava extracted from a lava site in Oregon on the moon. This rock was extracted from Devil’s Lake near Bend, Oregon, where the astronauts were living with the locals while practicing taking rock samples. James Irwin lived with a building inspector Floyd Watson, and five years later Irwin took the rock up to the moon upon Watson’s insistence. As a proof he sent a photograph of the rock with a handwritten note stating “Oregon Lava on the Moon!”

This image of Floyd Watson’s photo of his piece of rock on the moon, autographed by astronaut James Irwin, ran on the front page of The Bend Bulletin on Oct. 2, 1971. (Picture Credits: Bend Bulletin)
This image of Floyd Watson’s photo of his piece of rock on the moon, autographed by astronaut James Irwin, ran on the front page of The Bend Bulletin on Oct. 2, 1971. (Picture Credits: Bend Bulletin)

4. A CHAPTER OF THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Picture Credits: umich
Picture Credits: umich
So after placing the piece of Oregon Lava and the art sculpture called “The Fallen Astronaut”, the Apollo 15 crew (David Scott, James Irwin, and Alfred Worden in the Command Module) still had enough time to lay the foundation of the first space-based chapter of their university’s  alumni association.

All three of the astronauts were alumni of the University of Michigan, and in an attempt to add to the legacy of their university, they left behind a small plaque containing the words, “This is to certify that The University of Michigan Club of The Moon is a duly constituted unit of the Alumni Association and entitled to all the rights and privileges under the Association’s Constitution.”

Picture Credits: NASA
Picture Credits: NASA

5. A BLANK PHOTOGRAPH

Pic Credits: theatlantic
Pic Credits: theatlantic
Taking picture of the moon seemed to be too mainstream for the Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke, so he decided to rather take a photo to the Moon instead. He took a nice photograph of him, his wife Dorothy, and their sons Charles and Thomas sitting on a bench; put it inside a plastic bad and left it on the moon for the aliens to admire his family life. The back of the photograph reads “This is the family of Astronaut Duke from Planet Earth. Landed on the Moon, April 1972.”

It is unlikely that after 44 years this picture will still be present on the moon considering all the harsh sunlight and extreme temperatures, but the gesture itself was quite remarkable.

6. AN X-RATED ANDY WARHOL DRAWING

Pic Credits: mentalfloss

When Apollo 12 visited the Moon in late 1969, they took a ceramic plate with them that contained artwork by six prominent artists. The ceramic wafer was titled “Moon Museum”, and it had artistry by the likes of Robert Rauschenberg, David Novros, John Chamberlain, Claes Oldenburg, Forrest Myers, and Andy Warhol. The wafer was unofficially attached to the leg of the landing module, and since the module was left behind when the return flight commenced, the artistic piece should still be up there.

7. A MESSAGE FROM THE LEADERS OF THE WORLD

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first stepped on the moon, their own journey and testimonials weren’t the only things that made history. They also left behind a silicon disk which was 1.5 inches across and contained goodwill messages from prominent figures by leaders ofy 75 countries, including Pope Paul VI, Indira Gandhi, and Queen Elizabeth II as well as statements from Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon. The silicon disc was designed to remain intact for thousands of years and is a great symbol of universal solidarity towards the cause of space travel.
Pic Credits: wikipedia
Pic Credits: wikipedia

Have any more cool things you know which are present on the moon?

Share them in the comments’ section below!

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7 Strange Things That Have Been Left On the Moon

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