The establishment of Earth Day was an event on April 22, 1970 started by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. After witnessing the ravages of a major oil spill in 1969 and inspired by the student anti-war movement, he called for an environmental teach-in. Over 20 million people participated that year. Gathering national attention, it later became called “Earth Day.” Today it is observed on April 22 each year by more than one billion people and many national governments in 192 countries. Earth Day appears on calendars around the world.
As you celebrate this year, I must call your attention to a new and important aspect of this day – the Moon
We all know that…
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first to land on the moon on July 20, 1969 and that Neil Armstrong took the first steps six hours later on July 21st. The two men then continued to explore together, and six missions followed with a total of 12 men landing on the moon by December 1972.
However few know that…
along with their backpacks, an American flag, and half the Apollo 11 moon-landing module, there is a large amount of debris left on the moon. Armstrong and Aldrin left some sentimental mementos like a patch from the never-launched Apollo 1 mission and commemoration medals. Others left more, some purposeful and some not.
There are 73 goodwill messages from leaders around the world and a
small gold pin shaped like an olive branch as a symbol of peace. In
addition, there are a whole host of other commemorative and personal objects like golf balls, a silver astronaut pin, and the fallen astronaut statuette left by the crew of Apollo 15.
We also have a long list of huge man-made objects on the moon like retroreflectors (the only artificial objects still in use) and many surface equipment packages that are no longer used. The remains of five specific rockets from the Apollo program are the heaviest single pieces of debris left, and here are are some of the other more notable items:
Luna 2 – 1959
Ranger 4 – 1962
Luna 5 -1965
Luna 9 – 1966
Surveyor 1 – 1966
Apollo 11 – 1969
Moon Buggy – 1971 – There are three altogether on the surface, gently gathering dust.
There are more.
Here is the part to make us think…
The largest amount of trash outside of earth’s atmosphere is in fact on the moon. We hear about the amount of waste floating around in our atmosphere all the time. However, we never hear about what we have done to our “earth’s best friend.”
The moon has only been accessible to us for decades, rather than hundreds of years. However, in the short time available to humanity it is estimated that we have left over 375,000 pounds of debris on its surface and taken back to earth about 842 pounds of the moon.
If debris is not bad enough, here is what happened on October 9, 2009
NASA crashed a piece of space junk into the moon’s south pole to find out if the dark, cold craters there contained water in the form of ice that we might some day be able to use? The impact of the 2.2-ton empty rocket part kicked up a cloud of dust. Then, a spacecraft flew down through that dust, checked for water, and sent data and live footage of the impact back to earth, before crashing into the moon as well.
Few know that…
shortly after that specific crash, huge numbers of natural disasters like vicious hurricanes, major earthquakes and giant tsunamis began to occur at record rates. In addition, our current extreme weather patterns started right at that time. Many experts espouse theories about the new trend of increased natural difficulties and unusual weather, but no one has yet come up with this possible connection to our lunar activities.
This Earth Day…
let us not forget the magnificence of our full moon and its continuing beauty throughout every phase. Let everyone remember that She is Luna, the Latin name for the moon and the basis for a very important calendar. Let us all continue to love and respect our handsome man who helps us with all our dreams and who remains such a faithful committed companion to our very wonderful earth. It is He, our very best friend, who continues to bring in our tides and pull up our hopes.
Ohhh April 22, 2013! Look what we have done to our earth and now to the moon!
NOTE: The lunar surface is dryer than our driest deserts. Maybe we are not the ones who really need that water.
A Bouquet of Positive Feelings!
Go outside tonight and take a joyous look at our gorgeous moon. Then filled with its power, come back inside and use its spirit to tell your child what you really mean, “I love you to the moon and back.”