Portrait of Kuiper in profile.

Roseburg, Oregon Moon Tree

Douglas Fir Moon Tree.

Kuiper communes with a Moon Tree in Roseburg, Oregon. Swipe to get a better look at the tree!

This is our eighth Moon Tree picture (and was our fourth Douglas Fir visit!) I also have five more Moon Trees that I haven’t posted yet, but they’re included in the log below!

Moon Trees were how I originally fell down the rabbit hole of sharing space history with my dog. I was looking for interesting places to take pictures of Kuiper for the ‘gram when I stumbled across the tree at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. After snapping the photo, I decided that the story behind it was way too cool to keep to myself. Things kind of snowballed from there. 😂

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. Link in bio has the list. Any Moon Trees near you?

MOON TREE LOG
✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️ Douglas Fir
✔️✔️✔️✔️ Sycamore
✔️✔️ Loblolly Pine
✔️ Sweetgum
✔️ Redwood

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/B2M13IkFNB9/

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