Wow, this is something else. Long lasting takes on a whole new meaning with the news that all but one Lunar Assembly Flag have survived 40+ years on the moon! Now that’s a quality product! So many products these days are built to not last…
There were six landing sites. These Lunar Assembly Flags were especially designed for the job. The flags were a big deal. At the time that these missions were going on, there was some concern about the meaning of planting a national flag on the moon. A lot of reassurances had to be made that it was not a territorial claim.
Here’s the scoop from Bad Astronomy on how this was verified, including an explanation about what happened to Apollo 11′s flag (the one that didn’t make it).
Long Lasting Moon Flags
One of the more enduring questions about the Apollo Moon missions is seemingly simple: after 40+ years, are the flags the astronauts planted on the lunar surface still there?
It’s an interesting question. Buzz Aldrin claims he saw the flag blow over when the ascent module carrying him and Neil Armstrong lifted off from the Moon – which was never confirmed (until now; hang on for that), but the fates of the flags from the other five missions have never been ascertained. In 2009 there was tantalizing evidence the flags from Apollo 17 was still standing, but the images were just barely too fuzzy to know for sure.
But now, apparently, we do know: the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has now confirmed that the flags at all the landing sites are still there, except for Apollo 11. It looked like Buzz was right!
I still remember those images on the television when I was little. I’m not sure I truly got the enormity of what had been achieved. I thought it was cool of course. But in my child’s mind I was thinking, “of course we can go to the moon, we can go anywhere”!
Now all these years later I am looking at the images of the evidence that it really did happen. Those long lasting moon flags are testimony that
Do you remember the landings?
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