A Parachuting Fireman....best job title evAr.
NASA has appealed for help from the public in tracking down a plague of 'Moon trees' grown from seeds brought back from a 1971 lunar mission in an astronaut's personal kit. Space boffins say that the seeds survived in conditions of total vacuum and are thought to have been planted out at various locations on Earth, growing into …
They were in his personal kit. He didn't do a space walk. Unless he gave them to Shepard or Mitchell to carry down to the surface, I don't grok how they could have been exposed to vacuum.
Exposed to more radiation than normal I can understand.
And what's the big deal about exposure to vacuum anyway? Or even exposure to more radiation? We can do both of those here on the ground.
Not as sexy as doing it on the moon I suppose -- or just a slow news day.
...you can see one of the balls in this picture: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110205.html
Click the picture to enlarge it and you'll see the golf ball in the shallow crater at the middle of the photo about half way up to the horizon, almost directly above the cart in the foreground.
Its just below the near end of the white rod, which Ed Mitchell threw into the crater, so at least one of Al Shephard's shots didn't exactly go 'miles and miles'.
These are tree seeds from earth, taken out and brought back. They may have been subject to vacuum and cold, but that is probably the same as tree seeds in a seedbank.
The only way they could be identified was if they had done an FF4 and become stretchy, stone like, invisible, or could burst into flame, or had been labelled and/or otherwise recorded.
This is such a non-story.
@"Hundreds of moon trees were distributed as seedlings" ... "but we don't have systematic records showing where they all went."
Have they never seen "The Day of the Triffids". Plus lets hope they don't do that *no systematic records* mistake, when they do finally find alien bacteria. :)
and god do I wish I hadn't.
The book was great but the 60's movie was truly a crime against humanity. The 80's mini series was OK considering the budget constraints but was still pretty ordinary by about the second half.
Considering the endless number of godawful "re-imaginings" going on in the movie industry these days TDOTD is one candidate for a proper movie. I wonder if they will ever do the book justice?
There is also a sequel* to the book, although it is not as good as the original.
* Not written by John Wyndham
...and miles and miles and miii-iiiiiiles, oh yeah!
Obviously, Shepard was exaggerating for humorous effect.
The golf balls did, however, travel much farther in the vacuum and low gravity than they would have on Earth. Find the video footage and check out the trajectory of the ball as it leaves the frame; it travels in almost a straight line, and very quickly, too.
I watched it live on TV when I was about 14; I remember being quite impressed at the time.
Also quite funny -- as well as a bit surrealistic -- was watching astronauts on the Moon tossing away shreds of the thin, light Kapton thermal shielding as they peeled them off of the experiment packages they were deploying. Kapton's really thin, flimsy stuff that hardly weighs anything on Earth and would hardly go anywhere due to gravity and air resistance, but in lunar gravity and vacuum -- ma-aaan, you should've seen that stuff take off.
I germinated a few as part of my Science Faire project at Wilbur Jr. High in Palo Alto ("The Life Cycle of Coastal Redwoods"). A friend of my Dad's had gone to school with Roosa, and when he heard of my project, he suggested I write him a letter, requesting the seeds. So I did, never expecting to hear back from him ... To say I was one thrilled teenager when I got the package and a short "good luck!"note from him would be a gross understatement :-)
Later, I invited him to attend the faire, but he politely declined, citing prior commitments ... however, he sent a short voice comment on cassette, stating why he chose to take the seeds on his journey, and a signed 8X10 photo of the Apollo 14 crew for me to display. I can't find the cassette, alas, but I still have the photo.
One of my trees is planted on the school grounds at the former Greendell Elementary School in Palo Alto, and survives to this day. There are a couple more on the adjacent former Cubberly High School campus, and a couple on the grounds of Stanford and Berkeley Universities. Another is on my old family Homestead just outside Fort Bragg, CA. It is flourishing. The only other one that I'm certain of the location is behind the California State Capitol building. This last one is not one of mine, and is the only one that is marked, so far as I know. The PBS television series "California's Gold" did an episode on these trees:
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