The Apollo Program Turned Military Pilots Into Lunar Rock Experts

The Apollo Program Turned Military Pilots Into Lunar Rock Experts

                   Go through the Cinder Lake Crater Field and you will find a white crystal filled rock lying over there that has no business being there. The place is located roughly 12 miles outside Flagstaff, Ariz.

These chunks of anorthosite were not deposited by nature. Rather, they were carved out from the mountains around Pasadena, Calif. Moreover, The Craters were carved out not by meteors but by fertilizers and dynamites.

The Apollo astronauts were dispatched by NASA to this volcanic field to search for these faux and other moon rocks. This was even before the researchers were sent to the moon. The scavenger Hunt was very important and meaningful.

Anorthosite is among the oldest lunar rocks. The geologists also believe that these rocks are very old. They wanted the moonwalk us to understand the specimens and bring these valuable rocks back home.

A retired geologist of the US geological institute said that they drilled into Apollo 15 crew. He was involved in the training of these members and he also added that this was the kind of training they were involved in.

The early Apollo missions were mainly focused on beating the Soviets on the moon to prove the super-reality of America’s Technology during the time of cold war. The astronauts who flew them were mostly pilots with little Interest in rocks.

Most pilots started appreciating the lunar geology by the time Apollo 11 blasted. They believed that it would shed new light on their planet. The experience of geology has been mentioned in the book named, Return to Earth. It has been written by one of the astronauts who had little interest in rocks.

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The USGS geologist, Eugene Shoemaker was attracted by the greater and dreamt of going to the moon. However, he couldn’t because of the diagnosis of Addison’s disease. He played an important role in making Prem name these astronauts as scientists and they also sent them to Arizona for field training.

Shoemaker took the astronauts for a 2 days trip. They visited a number of craters to understand the geology and methodology of the surface of the moon. They learned a lot about the lunar geology in this part.

The astronauts walked from the dawn till dusk, for a week. They are made to wash the dishes after having done all the other work. This was regarded as a successful exercise.

The fact that the current classes were also being carried out at the same old sites was exciting for the astronauts. The old Apollo era was remembered. Currently, the trainees are trained to use different technological devices like the X-Ray fluorescence spectrometer and various drones. Hence, the new technologies are being used to train the astronauts and geologist to explore the moon better.

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Trey Warsame

About the Author: Trey Warsame