Science Channel - InSCIder

3 Jul

'Our Flag Was Still There': American Flags Still Flying On Moon

As Americans head into a long weekend in observance of Independence Day, we're remembering the six American flags planted on the moon. But, decades later, are those flags still flying?

A 2012 report from NASA says that despite theories to the contrary, all but one of the flags are still standing:

"Combined with knowledge of the Apollo site maps which show where the flag was erected relative to the Lander, long shadows cast by the flags at three sites  - Apollo 12, Apollo 16, and Apollo 17 - show that the these flags  are still 'flying,' held aloft by the poles."

The flags may not still display the stars and stripes, however:

"All Moon and material experts have no doubt about it: the flags are now completely white. If you leave a flag on Earth for 43 years, it would be almost completely faded. On the Moon, with no atmospheric protection whatsoever, that process happens a lot faster. The stars and stripes disappeared from our Moon flags quite some time ago."

On this Independence Day weekend, here's a look back at the historic moment in 1969 humans first landed on the moon and planted an American flag to mark the moment:

The next Apollo mission, Apollo 12, had adventures of its own before even leaving Earth's orbit -- and things only got stranger once the crew was in space.


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