Kuiper sits in front of a Douglas Fir Moon Tree.

Olympia, Washington Moon Tree

Kuiper poses sweetly in front of the Apollo 14 moon tree at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia, not far from where he was born. Here’s also the tree in its entirety, as well as its plaque! This is our fifth moon tree picture, and our third Douglas Fir. I’m hoping we can see some Redwoods this summer!!

Before he became an astronaut, Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa was a smokejumper (one of the brave firefighters who parachute in to fight wildfires.) On January 31, 1971, he brought 500 seeds aboard #Apollo14 as a tribute to the US #ForestService. While Commander Shepard and Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell were collecting rocks and playing golf on the moon, Stuart stayed aboard the command module to take pictures and do SCIENCE.

Unfortunately, upon returning home, the seed container was accidentally exposed to vacuum during decontamination procedures. ? Dear reader, the canister EXPLODED. ? None of the seeds were expected to survive.  However, the Forest Service decided to give them a chance. They carefully separated all five species of tree seeds and divided them between two Forest Service stations, one in California and one in Mississippi.

To their astonishment most of the seeds germinated!! Most of the trees were planted around the country as part of the US bicentennial celebration in 1976. Out of over 400 seedlings, around 50 trees are still alive and accounted for. I’ll post a link to the list in my story, or you can google “moon trees NSSDCA.” Any near you?

✔️✔️✔️ Douglas Fir
✔️ Sycamore
✔️ Loblolly Pine
❌ Sweetgum
❌ Redwood

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BihlmwwgpwA/

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