Fly Me To The Moon . . . And Soon!


I’m off to the Moon . . . sort of!

It’s approaching the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 16 mission that flew to the Moon.

It was the penultimate Apollo mission and one of the poignant things it’s remembered for is astronaut Charlie Duke leaving a photograph of his family on the lunar surface. His footprints remain on the surface, but sadly the photo will have faded.

“After 43 years, the temperature of the moon every month goes up to 400 degrees [Fahrenheit] in our landing area and at night it drops almost absolute zero,” Duke said.

“Shrink wrap doesn’t turn out too well in those temperatures. It looked OK when I dropped it, but I never looked at it again and I would imagine it’s all faded out by now.”

Photo by NASA.

Fast forward many years and imaging specialist Andy Saunders grabs headlines when he remastered an image of Neil Armstrong standing on the Moon and we were able to see his face through the visor of his helmet.

This led Andy to “clean up” scores more of the original NASA images.

His book “Apollo Remastered” published by Penguin Random House will be out later this year and will feature wonderful photos brought up to date and clearer than ever before.

“Andy’s remastered images are so clear and real,” Charlie Duke says. “They’re the next best thing to being there. The images are an exact representation of what I remember from my journey to the Moon on Apollo 16.”

Lift Off!

But it doesn’t stop there…another copy of Charlie Duke’s iconic photo is heading back to the Moon this year!

Along with a photo of me and my family! The un-crewed Peregrine rover is due to land on the Moon later this year. Part of the payload will be a capsule containing photographs from 15 people who were lucky enough to have their names drawn from a cyber-hat.

Our photos will be encased in a small capsule and left on the surface of the Moon.

This means they’ll never fade. The only thing to worry about are future generations or aliens seeing our 2021 lockdown hair!

For more from the “Friend” team, click here to read our blog.

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!