taken by Chris Gunn/293
Goddard's Moon Tree
Over by the
Visitors' Center stands a fenced sycamore tree, which has been to
the Moon and back in its seedling years on the Apollo 14 mission.
Park Service smoke jumper employee, Stuart Roosa was aboard Apollo
14 and was the one responsible for taking various tree seeds to
the moon and back as part of a joint project with NASA and the US
Forest Service. Roosa carried hundreds of Loblolly Pine, Sycamore,
Sweetgum, Redwood and Douglas Fir tree seeds which were to be compared
with seeds on Earth.
to Earth, during the decontamination process the canisters of seeds
burst opened and were presumed to be no longer viable. Fortunately
the seeds were sent to Forest Service stations in Mississippi and
California and were germinated successfully. Some the trees were
planted with the counter parts for observance but most of them were
given away across the world during the periods of 1975 and 1976
to many state forestry organizations, the White House, Brazil, Switzerland,
the Emperor of Japan, various universities and NASA centers.
For a listing
of the known Moon Tree locations go to: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/moon_tree.html