December 29, 2013

The Family that Went to the Moon

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On April 23, 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts Charlie Duke and John Young embarked on the third and final EVA of the mission, exploring the Descartes Highlands via Lunar Roving Vehicle. During the EVA, before setting up a Solar Wind Collector, Duke placed a small family photo he had brought along onto the lunar surface and snapped a few photos of  it with his Hasselblad film camera. This is one of the photos.

The portrait shows Charlie, his wife Dorothy, and their two sons Charles and Thomas. It looks like they are sitting on a bench in the summertime.

The family photo, gingerly wrapped in clear plastic and slightly crumpled from being stashed in the pocket of a space suit, was left on the Moon. It presumably still sits there today, just inches away from Charlie's boot print --€” which, presumably, is also there. Universe Today

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Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 29, 2013 4:27 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I wonder what the long exposure to solar radiation has done to those chemicals. To say nothing of global warming, of course.

Posted by: Daniel K Day at December 29, 2013 4:49 PM

You have posted this before. This picture, along with all the flags have long since faded.

Posted by: Potsie at December 29, 2013 5:15 PM

Maybe the solar wind blew it away.

Posted by: dhmosquito at December 29, 2013 5:38 PM

Daniel and Potsie are right-- between the high temperature (think in terms of a hot day at the beach, lasting for two weeks at a time, and no shade or breezes to cool things off) and no atmosphere to block ionizing radiation, the photograph faded to all-white decades ago, and the plastic in the envelope got pounded by the radiation into volatile fragments that have also long since evaporated.

All that's left are charred, gooey bits and pieces, more like as not, alas.

Hale Adams
Pikesville, People's Democratic Republic of Maryland

Posted by: Hale Adams at December 29, 2013 8:17 PM

Frankly, I am surprised these two insanely brave fighter pilots are not charged with littering the moon by the Obama Administration's EPA. It would be a good way for the little beltway fem boys to get even with two troglodytes of the J-79 days where testicles were carried in wheel barrows...

Posted by: Captain Dave at December 30, 2013 4:45 PM
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