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  Greatest item left behind on the moon by Apollo

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Author Topic:   Greatest item left behind on the moon by Apollo
ASCAN1984
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From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
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posted 04-25-2012 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have always felt that although understandable with weight and space issues, that it was a crime for certain issues not to be returned to earth with the crews of Apollo missions. For example, the backpacks used on the lunar surface.

What do others feel was the greatest piece of equipment or hardware that was never returned to Earth during Apollo?

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 04-25-2012 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Were Neil Armstrong EVA boots returned?

Fezman92
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posted 04-25-2012 09:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I would not consider these "left on the moon" but I think it is a shame that the Eagle and Aquarius could not survive reentry.

MarylandSpace
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posted 04-25-2012 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neat topic.

The moon buggies get my vote.

Jim Behling
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posted 04-25-2012 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ASCAN1984:
I have always felt that although understandable with weight and space issues, that it was a crime for certain issues not to be returned to earth with the crews of Apollo missions. For example, the backpacks used on the lunar surface.
Why?

Anyways, it has nothing to do with weight or space, they physically could not pass through the tunnel into the CSM.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-25-2012 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Mulheirn:
Were Neil Armstrong EVA boots returned?
No, they along with Aldrin's are still sitting on the surface.

If I am not mistaken, the only overshoes returned were Cernan's and Schmitt's (as below).

SkyMan1958
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posted 04-25-2012 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Obviously a LOT of very cool stuff got left on the Moon. I agree that Armstrong's boots would have been the most historic item.

For just a fun item, and one that needs to stay on the Moon, I like Alan Bean's silver astronaut pin that he tossed in Surveyor crater. What a way to upgrade to a gold astronaut pin!

Tykeanaut
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From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
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posted 04-25-2012 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a shame that Armstrong's and Aldrin's are on the moon and only the boots of Cernan and Schmitt were returned. Didn't they consider it for the first mission?

Fezman92
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posted 04-25-2012 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alan Shepard's golf ball.

icarkie
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From: BURTON ON TRENT /England
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posted 04-25-2012 11:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for icarkie   Click Here to Email icarkie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
For just a fun item, and one that needs to stay on the Moon, I like Alan Bean's silver astronaut pin that he tossed in Surveyor crater.
I might be a bit vague on this but didn't the Apollo XII crew (Conrad or Bean) put CC Williams (wings/pin) on the moon as well in remembrance to him?

Fezman92
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posted 04-25-2012 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes they did.

dom
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posted 04-25-2012 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The optimism of the 1960s!

328KF
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posted 04-25-2012 09:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll bet Dr. Rock wishes he would have held onto his geology hammer, instead of seeing how far he could toss it.

And if any of the moonwalkers could have forseen what space collectibles would be worth these days, they would have been pulling large sheets of lightweight gold mylar off of those famous LM's.

At the recent events at Udvar-Hazy, the great folks from Goddard had a large display of tools and equipment used to repair Hubble, some of it the actual flown hardware. On a stand behind them was a sheet of silver insulation removed from the telescope during one of the repair missions. It must have been 3 x 4 feet in size.

Just think of how many lucites they could have the ASF make!

freshspot
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From: Lexington, MA, USA
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posted 04-26-2012 03:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for freshspot   Click Here to Email freshspot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the grand scheme of history, these items are not lost or left somewhere. I'm sure that sometime in the future many will be retrieved or even, dare I say it, the site will be visited again, possibly even by tourists.

A hundred years ago, who would have imagined that you or I could visit Ernest Shackleton antarctic expedition hut.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
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posted 05-14-2012 02:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pete Conrad's car keys.

Lets see, to me the greatest thing left behind were no bodies. Everyone who got down made it home safe. Other than that, the footprints.

Mr. Apollo 17
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posted 05-28-2012 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The greatest two items left on the lunar surface to me are all of the footprints and the rovers. Those items made the most proof that we actually went there and to actually know that people walked and drove on a place that we usually regard as just something in the sky is amazing in my opinion.

For shutting all of the skeptics up, the laser ranging retroflector also.

Philip
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From: Brussels, Belgium
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posted 05-29-2012 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An artwork of course...

"The Fallen Astronaut" by Belgian artist Paul van Hoeydonck.

Tom
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From: New York
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posted 05-29-2012 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe the two most important things left on the Moon were the bootprints on the surface and the U.S. flags.

model maker
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posted 05-30-2012 05:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for model maker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Al Bean did bring back his lunar boots and geology hammer. He uses his hammer to sculpt and texture his paintings, uses is lunar boots to make footprint artwork and said he even ground up his Apollo 12 mission patch complete with moondust and includes a little bit of it in some of his paintings mixed into the paints themselves.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-30-2012 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The boot Bean uses to imprint his painting training spare/replica. The overshoes he used to walk on the surface are still on the moon.

LM1
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From: New York, NY USA
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posted 06-04-2012 11:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that the three LRVs from Apollo 15-17 would be great to have at the Smithsonian. Are they rotting away on the moon or will they still be like new when we return?

Kocmoc
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From: Washington, DC USA
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posted 06-21-2012 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kocmoc   Click Here to Email Kocmoc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
If I am not mistaken, the only overshoes returned were Cernan's and Schmitt's.
Yes, Rob, You are correct.

Only Cernan and Schmitt brought back their overshoes. Apollo 17 had added capacity and they made the unilateral decision to bring them back. It was a good thing for suit development, too.

MattJL
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From: New Jersey, US
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posted 06-21-2012 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MattJL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd say the color film left behind on 12 and 14 are some of the lesser known but greatest artifacts left on the lunar surface. Every photograph and film taken during the Apollo program was priceless, but to have lost complete canisters is truly a shame.

Gonzo
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From: Lansing, MI, USA
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posted 06-27-2012 12:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Charlie Duke's Polaroid of his family on Apollo 16.

Well, that and the hopes we all shared in the 60's for the future of space exploration...

p51
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
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posted 06-27-2012 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Armstrong and Aldrin's overboots, no question.

It makes you wonder what'll happen in the future when people eventually do go back to the moon, will the Smithsonian request future travelers return with some of these items?

quote:
Originally posted by Gonzo:
Charlie Duke's Polaroid of his family on Apollo 16.
That's got to be a blank sheet of paper by now. All that UV on a older color photo, it would have kept developing to solid white. I'm certain if you could go the landing site today you wouldn't be able to make out anyone in that photo now...

Gonzo
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From: Lansing, MI, USA
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posted 06-27-2012 07:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not so sure. While the colors will certainly have faded some, it was vacuum sealed for not only O2 (Polaroids needed that and warmth to develop, although there wouldn't any up there!), but also the plastic, from what I've read also blocked all UV to prevent fading.

In any event, I thought it was a grand gesture for him. To recognize what his family goes through for his accomplishments. Fitting tribute, in my opinion.

thump
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posted 06-27-2012 10:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thump   Click Here to Email thump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe that I had read somewhere that he had stated that he wished he had left it in the shade, because as soon as he placed it on the surface, it started curling up. Anyone else remember reading this?

vamanboatin
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From: vienna, VA. USA
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posted 06-27-2012 11:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for vamanboatin   Click Here to Email vamanboatin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How about the empty fuel cell and the broken arm breaker from Eagle. Dave Scott's feather would have been an easy one but I believe he didn't have time to pick it up.

AirmanPika
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posted 06-30-2012 03:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AirmanPika   Click Here to Email AirmanPika     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fezman92:
Alan Shepard's golf ball.

I would second this. It feels like the most human item that was left there. It has no attachment to any one person, but is born directly from the human desire for fun.

lwmcallister
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posted 06-30-2012 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lwmcallister   Click Here to Email lwmcallister     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I really like the Alan Shepard Golf Ball; but how about the small cloth bag with the gold olive branch, the patch from Apollo 1 and the small Silicon Disc containing the messages from 73 world leaders? This too speaks to our humanity...

LM-12
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posted 06-30-2012 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe Gene Cernan ran over Shepard's golf ball at Station 6 on EVA-3.

From the Apollo 17 Lunar Surface Journal:

165:50:33 Cernan: (Reaching the gate) Yes, sir, we got a couple of dented tires!

165:50:39 Schmitt: Okay. My hands have had it.

165:50:42 Parker: Okay; good enough.

165:50:43 Schmitt: You aren't going to get anything else out of me if I keep taking pictures.

165:50:46 Parker: And, Gene, what's a "dented tire"?

165:50:51 Cernan: A dented tire is a little, oh, a little golf-ball size or smaller indentation in the mesh. How does that sound to you? Doesn't hurt anything.

165:51:03 Parker: That sounds like a dented tire; that's how it sounds.

mjanovec
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From: Midwest, USA
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posted 06-30-2012 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by thump:
I believe that I had read somewhere that he had stated that he wished he had left it in the shade, because as soon as he placed it on the surface, it started curling up. Anyone else remember reading this?

I heard the same thing too. I also recall hearing that the image started to turn black shortly afterwards. Setting that photo on the surface, in direct sunlight, was not unlike sticking it in an oven.

Cliff Lentz
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From: Philadelphia, PA USA
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posted 07-27-2012 11:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To me, the greatest items left on the Moon are the Descent stages of the LMs. They all have plaques that commemorate the mission. They all have the porch and ladder the crews used to descend to the surface. They are the reason that they landed safely and they're proof that they left safely.

All times are CT (US)

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