Kuiper sits on a bench in front of a Douglas Fir tree.

Eugene, Oregon Moon Tree

“We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry. There will come with the greater love of science greater love to one another.” Maria Mitchell, American astronomer, 1896

This Moon Tree was one of the very last stops on this year’s trip; it can be found on the campus of University of Oregon in Eugene, OR. This is our seventh Moon Tree picture, and our fifth Douglas Fir. I also have six more Moon Trees that I haven’t posted yet; I’ll go ahead and add them to the log! ?

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 Apollo 14 as a tribute to the US Forest Service. 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, do SCIENCE and prepare for the journey back to Earth.

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. You can search for “moon trees NSSDCA” to check out the list. Any moon trees near you?

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

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BpHkO8NDUkG/

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