Lu­nar Rover Map, Apollo 17

Air & Space Smithsonian - - I Was There -

q The last men to walk on the moon used this map in the lu­nar rover to find some­thing no­body was ex­pect­ing: patches of or­ange soil among the dark gray dust of crater Shorty. (The or­ange was vivid enough that even pi­lot Ron Evans could see it from the or­bit­ing Com­mand Mod­ule.) In the mis­sion tran­script, an in­cred­u­lous Com­man­der Gene Cer­nan asks, “How can there be or­ange soil on the moon?” An­swer: Shorty is an im­pact crater, and the im­pact un­cov­ered a layer of vol­canic glass. Luck­ily, the mis­sion in­cluded Har­ri­son “Jack” Schmitt, the only ge­ol­o­gist to be sent to the moon. He re­acted to the dis­cov­ery “like a boy at Christ­mas,” re­called CAP­COM Robert Parker. The map be­longs to Jim Ruddy, who runs the web­site Moon Col­lec­tor ( ).


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