Dear Atria, I guess you know well that our closest neighbour in space is the Moon. Baba had a chance to view a model of the Moon and a sample of the rock brought from the Moon at the Griffiths Observatory. The Moon lies 238,000 miles (384,306 km) away and is only one-quarter of Earth’s diameter. Craters from billions of years of impacts scar the surface. Everything is covered by a layer of dust. The smooth plains (like Mare Imbrium) are ancient lava flows. There is no air, liquid water, or life. The gravity is one-sixth Earth’s, so visitors can leap easily across the surface.
Walking on the Moon is a death-defying feat. The only way to survive the harsh, airless surface is in a safe and mobile environment – like the one inside a space suit. When I visited Baba back in October we went to California Science Center. It is a free of charge museum dedicated to science. I think I did not write a post about it on your website, but I’ll try to do it at some later stage. Lst year at the California Science Center we had a chance to see a real astronaut suit that was worn by one of the astronaut on the Endeavour mission. We have seen Endeavour space-ship itself as well, but that’s a different story.
The suit in the picture is very similar to the one used during Apollo mission. The suit, backpack, and tubing supply oxygen and cooling. The visor provides shade from intense sunlight. Boots weigh the astronaut down during surface exploration. The weight of the suit we have seen at California Science Center was over 180 pounds (over 80 kg!), but of course on the Moon it would be 6 times less.
On the 20th July 1969 Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin walked on the lunar surface as a billion people back home watched them on live television. It was one of the most memorable and significant events of the twentieth century.
Twelve men landed on the Moon from 1969-1972. They conducted experiments, collected samples, and paved the way for future human exploration.
Apollo astronauts brought back 842 pounds of rocks, pebbles, core samples, and dust from the Moon’s surface during six missions. It marked the first time people left Earth to get samples of another solar-system object. The rock that is on display at Griffiths Observatory ia a 19.8-pound Moon rock collected by astronauts Edgar Mitchell and Alan Shepard during Apollo 14 mission and it is called Big Bertha.