Astronauts Left A Flag On The Moon 40 Years Ago. This Is What It Looks Like Now
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon decades ago for the first time in mankind’s history. In their epic journey, they planted America’s flag on the rocky surface, ostensibly claiming it as our own — or at the very least, to indicate that we had been there. It’s worth mentioning that the U.S. has repeatedly denied notions that its space exploration had anything to do with territorial expansion.
Decades later, and the picture above looks quite different. For starters, there’s no astronaut up there. We haven’t been back to the moon since 1972. More notably, the flag is likely an entirely different object. Tony Reichardt with the Smithsonian Institute notes that without an atmosphere, the moon is subjected to the sun’s harsh UV rays. It would likely have been bleached white “in no time.” That is, if it hadn’t already been knocked over by Apollo 11 during takeoff, as Aldrin reluctantly suspected.
While 2012 images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) were able to confirm that every flag planted since Apollo 11 is still standing, they were also able to confirm Aldrin’s suspicion — the Apollo 11 flag is no longer standing. In fact, it’s likely been reduced to dust. Check out the picture below to see a bit of what LROC captured:The LROC took pictures of every Apollo landing site. Shadows created from the Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16, & 17 flags were all evident in their pictures, but the Apollo 11 landing site is home to only the large equipment left behind (the Passive Seismic Experiment Package, and the cover of the Laser Ranging RetroReflector) — there’s no trace of their flag. Trace with DNews takes a look in the video below about what these flags might look like. Let us know what you though, and don’t forget to share this article with your friends on Facebook!