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The American Flags On The Moon Are No Longer Stars And Stripes

Buzz Aldrin Poses next To The U.S. flag On Moon
Buzz Aldrin Poses next To The U.S. flag On Moon (NASA/Liaison)

Due to ‘weathering’, the flags that astronauts placed on the moon ever 40 years ago are probably now white, experts say.

This article states that, over the course of the American Space Program, 6 American flags were placed on the moon.  These flags, like most things that NASA purchased, were supplied by the lowest bidder, at a cost of about $5.50 each.

According to Air Space (Smithsonian), the extreme conditions on the moon (temps range from 212 degrees to -238 degrees), combined with the fact that the flags were not of the highest quality, they have probably faded to white.  The article goes on to say:

But even more damaging is the intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the pure unfiltered sunlight on the cloth (modal) from which the Apollo flags were made.

 

It is kind of disheartening for this patriotic soul to know that Old Glory has lost some of her color and, having lived in Cape Kennedy (Canaveral), having witnessed several  Apollo launches and two shuttle launches, I have a special place in my heart for (what was) America’s Space Program:  so the article’s final line really hits home for me….

America is left with no discernible space program while the Moon above us no longer flies a visible U.S. flag.  How ironic.

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Shuttle Launch
Photo by John Falcon

(Via Business Insider, Air&Space)

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