Yes, we really did go to the moon 40 years ago on the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, sparking a moon race that is still going on. A lunar geochemist says is still lots to learn from the moon rocks collected there. And we almost didn’t collect them at all!
Researcher Randy L. Korotev has studied lunar samples and their chemical compositions since he was an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin and “was in the right place at the right time” in 1969 to be a part of a team to study some of the first lunar samples. He says, “We went to the moon and collected samples before we knew much about the moon. It’s only been fairly recently that we decided that we should look closer at these Apollo 11 samples. We know even more now and can ask smarter questions.”
He credits the late Robert M. Walker and a handful of other scientists for the fact that there are even moon samples to study. He says, “Bringing samples back from the moon wasn’t the point of the mission. It was really about politics. It took scientists like Bob Walker to convince NASA to bring these samples back, to show the value of them for research.”
In all the news stories we’ve heard about the Apollo mission recently, not one of them has mentioned the reason for our current moon race: Helium 3! There are lots of other things that the ordinary media ignores as well, which is why you need this website and our incredible radio shows and interviews. Help us continue this wonderful work: subscribe today!
Photo credit: Randy Korotev
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