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What 'Fate' the US flag met that marked human-footprints on Moon?

Now its been more than 40-years when the US flag was unfurled at our only natural satellite. It surely have seen the worst but it would be interesting to know if it get pass all the hurdles and still  standing tall, holding the ground firmly? How much the harsh environment of Moon has damaged or changed it? Now how does it looks? So to answer all your questions Newstrack.com has studied some scientists to understand what has happened to that famous flag.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 9 Jan 2020 10:23 AM GMT

What Fate the US flag met that marked human-footprints on Moon?
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Lucknow: When we look up in the dark night we see bright moon reflecting its cool brightness back to earth and a memory that changed the human history way back in 1969 with first human footprints that walked across its rough surface with a red, blue and white US flag.

Now its been more than 40-years when the US flag was unfurled at our only natural satellite. It surely have seen the worst but it would be interesting to know if it get pass all the hurdles and still standing tall, holding the ground firmly? How much the harsh environment of Moon has damaged or changed it? Now how does it looks? So to answer all your questions Newstrack.com has studied some scientists to understand what has happened to that famous flag.

Finally, Lunar Scientist Paul Spudis, in a July 2011 blog posting, writes:

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Taking forty-oddly long years into consideration, the flags have been exposed to the full fury of the Moon’s environment. When the moon burns under alternate 14 days of searing sunlight with temperature rising to 100° C to 14 days of numbing-cold -150° C darkness. Or what could've damaged it more than the intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the pure unfiltered sunlight on the Apollo flags. Given to all these conditions it could be concluded that the symbols of American achievement would have been bleached white by the harsh UV radiation of unfiltered sunlight and would've physically disintegrate under the intense flux.

If the reports are to be believed the Apollo 11 mission flag is probably gone. Buzz Aldrin saw it knocked over by the rocket blast as he and Neil Armstrong left the moon. Lying there in the dust, unprotected from the sun’s harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays, the flag’s red and blue would have bleached white in no time. The nylon would have turned brittle and disintegrated or moreover it must be turned into ashes.

However, what new (LRO) images suggests and what LRO Camera Principal Investigator, Dr. Mark Robinson thinks, "the flags are intact, if they are still there. The moon's extreme heat and ultraviolet conditions would probably destroy the nylon flags over time, he suggested. "Personally, I would be surprised if there's anything left on them," Robinson said. "You know how [if] you leave a flag out over summer, how it starts to fade. Now, imagine the extreme UV environment on the moon, and the hot and cold cycling, and it's been 40 years — so if the flags are still there, they're probably in pretty rough shape."

The Historian Anne Platoff, though believes the first two (flags) from Apollo 11 and 12 did not survive the ignition gases of the lunar liftoff. "It wasn't the intention for the flag material itself to last. It was just to be there during the event - the landing and departing from the moon. We didn't have a requirement that the flag, the U.S. flag, had to withstand all the environments for eons". Talking about its current condition Platoff said, "I would guess, over time, 40 years, the combination of sun-rot and micro-meteor impact is probably devastating. I mean it's not a pretty picture to paint. The only way you're going to test these theories is to go back to the Moon and look at the flag."

The US flags could have "bleached", “tattered” “disintegrated”, “rough shaped” or “turned into ashes” after enduring 41 years of exposure to vacuum, with extreme temperature swings from 242 F during the day to -280 F during the night, exposure to radiation and ultraviolet light, and micrometeorites bombarding on its surface, the flag according to many would be able to bear the assault of the environment.

So, what do you think? Will we be able to see the US flags on the lunar surface once we set up our colonies there and go on a trip to moon? Tell us in the comment section below what do you think about it.

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Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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