Sunday, May 05, 2013

Sepia Saturday 174: Boots on the moon

I wondered if these newspaper readers, no doubt tapping their feet or swinging their legs at they read,  gave much thought to their footwear as they sat engrossed in the news about the Apollo mission, Neal Armstrong and "one small step for mankind". 

Why do I wonder if these readers gave a thought to shoes? I was surprised to read that after completing that first walk on the moon, the Apollo astronauts left their boots, nine pairs in total, on the moon surface. The jettison wasn't planned ahead of time;  they picked up so much moon rock they had to compensate for the additional weight. The boots are presumably still there and may be in fairly decent condition given the atmosphere on the moon - no oxidation, therefore no rust of buckles and snaps, but experts say the silicone soles and synthetic fabrics have probably deteriorated or even turned to dust. Can an 1967 X-ray qualify for Sepia Saturday?

We have a record of the footprint made by Armstrong, seen here, but how unfortunate the boot that made the imprint wasn't saved for posterity here on earth.  I guess the astronauts had more to think about than their shoes and more to worry getting back home.


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  2. I didn't know this. Fascinating. And yes, you'd have thought at least Armstrong's boots would have been brought back for the Smithsonian.

  3. Reminds me of when you could get your feet x-rayed at the shoe store to see how your shoes were fitting. Way back in the old days!!