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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Five out of six Apollo landing flags still standing

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Author Topic:   Five out of six Apollo landing flags still standing
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-29-2012 06:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Beyond a shadow of a doubt: US flags still standing at Apollo moon landing sites

Forty-one years ago Monday (July 30), Apollo 15 landed on the moon and the fourth of ultimately six American flags was planted on the lunar surface.

Those flags have been exposed to intense ultraviolet (UV) light and temperatures over the past four decades, leading many to question if the nylon stars and stripes still existed or if the star-spangled banners had degraded in the direct sunlight.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has now confirmed the famous flags' fate beyond a 'shadow' of a doubt...

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 07-29-2012 08:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Which begs the question: What happened to the flag intended for Apollo 13?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-29-2012 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I am not mistaken, the Apollo 13 flag was stowed in the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA) on the descent stage of the lunar module.

As such, it was lost when Aquarius reentered the Earth's atmosphere.

Fra Mauro
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Posts: 1017
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 07-30-2012 12:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fox News did a nice segment on the flag story this morning.

jemmy
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Posts: 134
From:
Registered: Dec 2010

posted 05-14-2013 06:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jemmy   Click Here to Email jemmy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can anybody answer the question on the whereabouts of the American flag that was intended to be placed on the moon by the crew of Apollo 13.

Was it returned back to earth? Or was it left aboard Aquarius?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Tom
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Posts: 1275
From: New York
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 05-14-2013 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe the lunar surface flag was stored in a container on the outside of the LM descent stage... it did not return with the crew.

LM-12
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Posts: 809
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 05-14-2013 10:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would say the flag was still in its stowage location in the descent stage when the LM was jettisoned and burned up on reentry. From the Apollo 13 Press Kit:

The United States flag to be erected on the lunar surface measures 30 by 48 inches and will be deployed on a two-piece aluminum tube eight feet long. The folding horizontal bar which keeps the flag standing out from the staff on the airless Moon has been improved over the mechanisms used on Apollo 11 and 12.

The flag, made of nylon, will be stowed in the lunar module descent stage modularized equipment stowage assembly (MESA) instead of in a thermal-protective tube on the LM front leg, as in Apollo 11 and 12.

p51
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Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 05-16-2013 05:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So odd that the flags are still there, for years I'd heard that radiation would have screwed up the flags so badly that all of them would be gone. And that was many years ago I started hearing that.

I guess they didn't take into account the fine tradition of flag making in the good ol' US of A!

Shikedants
New Member

Posts: 8
From: Old Tappan, NJ, USA
Registered: Feb 2013

posted 05-17-2013 11:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shikedants     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Reading the account of how difficult it was for Neil and Buzz to hammer down the flagpole, I found myself wondering if they didn't overengineer this whole thing.

Why didn't they just use something similar to a microphone stand. Given how light the flag and pole would have been on the moon, you could have made a pole and stand with very light materials, probably even a coat hanger. It most likely wouldn't have tipped over as there's no wind. Just put it far enough from the LM and It would stay up forever.

Do you think it was important for us to know that the flag was pounded into the moon?

All times are CT (US)

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