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Monday, July 16, 2012

Moon rock!

This is probably the most useless photo I've ever put on here.  By 'useless' I guess I mean to say that it conveys no information about Schenectady, it's clearly uninteresting as a photograph and it's not showing a celebrity or anything.

It's a rock.  A small piece of a rock, actually.  Polished, embedded in plastic, it's unremarkable in how... ordinary it looks.

It's a rock from the Moon.  Jack Schmitt picked it up on the first day of the very last Apollo mission (Apollo 17) to the moon.  He found it 60m from the Lunar Module (east, between the LM and SEP), put it in a sample collection bag which went into a sample collection box (you know that NASA has acronyms for all this stuff, right?) and that box was hoisted into the Ascent Module.  They left the moon, docked with the Command Module and transferred the box there, sealed with lunar vacuum inside.  After a fiery re-entry, the box was transferred to an aircraft carrier, then to the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, where a slew of scientists got to work on it.  It was sliced into several pieces, each one carefully documented.  The original rock was designated sample 70215.  I know, how glamorous can you get?  The itty bitty piece here is called 70215,11.

This tiny piece of the moon travels the US in a NASA trailer.  Inside the trailer is a bit of information about the space station, a bit about Orion / Constellation (the Shuttle replacement proposals) and what seems to me to be a very little bit about The Moon Rock.

Which I touched.

And so I was very happy that it came to the Schenectady Museum.  It's not the sort of photo that means much to anyone else, but I'm posting this one for me.

F Number5.0
Lens IDLumix 14-45mm F3.5-5.6
Focal Length26.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 52.0 mm)
Exposure Time1/10
Exposure ProgramProgram AE
Exposure Compensation0
FlashOff, Did not fire


  1. It is pretty cool, Buck. I finally got to go to Kennedy Space Center last month and I touched a moon rock while there. I didn't know NASA had a traveling road show. I think it's a great idea.

    I didn't post my picture I took touching the moon rock though. I went back and looked and it was also collected by Jack Schmitt on Apollo 17, sample 70215,287. So we touched part of the same rock. :-)

    Here's my post on KSC...
    Kennedy Space Center

  2. That photo useless? Not to me it's not. I, too, touched a moon rock, decades ago. And never thought to take a photo of the occasion.

    The photo is fine, but your description makes it great!


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