12 February 2022

Moon trees

The "moon trees," whose seeds circled the moon 34 times in Apollo 14 astronaut Stuart Roosa's pocket, were welcomed back to Earth with great fanfare in 1971. One was planted in Washington Square in Philadelphia as part of the 1975 bicentennial celebrations. Another took root at the White House. Several found homes at state capitals and space-related sites around the country. Then-president Gerald Ford called the trees "living symbol[s] of our spectacular human and scientific achievements."

And then, mysteriously, everyone seemed to forget about them...

[NASA astronomer] Williams has made it his mission to find them. For the past 15 years, he has kept a record on the web of every known tree's location. When he started in 1996, he only knew where 22 trees were found. Now, that number has climbed to 80.
More information at the Wired link above and at The Atlantic.

The curator at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum tells me that there are no moon trees in their collection, and the link above suggests none anywhere in Minnesota or Wisconsin.

BTW, the link for buying seeds of "half-moon trees" (descendants of the originals), appears to have undergone linkrot.

1 comment:

  1. Seeds from a Moon Tree at the University of Florida: https://floridaseeds.myshopify.com/products/american-sycamore-platanus-occidentalis-moon-tree-50-seeds-free-us-shipping?_pos=1&_sid=1eb290a90&_ss=r


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