On the Moon there is an abandoned photograph and a hidden message: this is the curious reason
On the surface of the Moon there is, since 1972, an abandoned photograph and a hidden message. Almost three years after Neil Armstrong, “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins achieved the feat, becoming the first men to reach the moon (July 20, 1969), Charles Duke followed in his footsteps, but with a twist.
The astronaut left a photograph of his wife and two children on the gray sand, with a message on the back: “This is the family of astronaut Charlie Duke from planet Earth, who landed on the Moon on April 20, 1972.”
What happened to that image? Can it still be located on the Moon?
The story of Charles Duke, the tenth astronaut to step on the Moon
Charles Moss Duke Jr. born in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1935. An American pilot, he served in Germany during the postwar period, joining NASA in the mid-1960s.
Duke participated in the Apollo 13 and Apollo 17 missions as a stand-in astronaut, and in 1972 he became the youngest astronaut to reach the Moon.
He did it when he was 36 years old.
Accompanying Commander John Young, Duke was the tenth person to walk on the lunar surface, exploring the Descartes crater. Meanwhile, in the Casper command module, Thomas Mattingly kept mapping the satellite.
The Duke family photograph
Young and Duke traveled 26.7 kilometers on the Moon, thanks to a rover. They collected 95.8 kilograms of rocky material and they returned to Earth within 22 hours of their arrival. But first, Duke left his little treasure: his family photo next to his handprint.
“Just to see my children excited about what their father is about to do, I told them if they wanted to go to the moon with me,” Duke said, in an interview with Business Insider. “We can take a family photograph, and then we can all go to the Moon.”
With the closure of the Apollo Program, Duke started a company and then dedicated himself to lecturing on his experience as an astronaut, reaching the rank of Brigadier General in the reserves. He is currently 86 years old.
The photograph was not seen again by other astronauts, with Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, on December 11, 1972, the last to visit the natural satellite. However, it is likely that it has been damaged, despite being inside a plastic bag, with temperatures of 214 ° C during the day and -184 ° C at night.