Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Moon Tree 2G

Sadly, it is fact that there are no trees on the Moon. Especially not large Fir Trees.

Well, at least this is what I'm led to believe by all the evidence that currently exists.  But who REALLY knows there aren't any?  Have we taken pictures of every inch of the Moon's surface?  I actually don't know the answer to this, but I am guessing that it's a big fat NO.

We landed men at the Sea of Tranquility over 40 years ago and there certainly weren't any there (that is, if we actually landed there and the whole thing wasn't just mocked up at an L.A. sound studio  - Capricorn One ring any bells OJ fans?).   I mean, for all we really know there could be an old growth forest, complete with spectacular and unimaginable creatures with very large feet and brown hair covering their entire body sitting just over some unexplored ridge. Yes, I am saying there may be Wookies on the Moon.

Okay, so there is a pretty high probability that there are no trees on the Moon. I'll concede that.

But when Mrs. LIAYF and I  heard this cool story about a Moon Tree at the State Capitol in Olympia on our local NPR station a couple weeks back we knew that we needed to take Lukas to see it.  And as we passed through there this past weekend Mrs. LIAYF suggested it was a good time to do just that.

Not the surface of the Moon.

As the story indicates, the 40 ft tall Douglas Fir is a Moon Tree because as a seedling it traveled on Apollo 14 to the Lunar Orbit back in 1971 and circled Earth's satellite 34 times!  It's also interesting to note that, barring a return trip to the Moon in the near future, once all of the current living Lunar astronauts have passed away, the Moon trees will be the only living things left that have visited the Moon.

That's pretty cool.

After a quick iPhone Google search helped us locate the tree we parked our car that sunny afternoon and made our way across a large lawn and up to the well traveled Douglas Fir and explained to Lukas, who is pretty crazy about space, and planets, and rockets just what it was he was seeing.  He was duly impressed.

On the surface it seemed like an ordinary tree, but knowing where it had been, it was quite the majestic sight.

Then, Mrs. LIAYF came up with another great idea as she suggested we collect a souvenir.  Not just any souvenir mind you but one which, if we treated it just right, might actually yield us a 2nd generation Moon Tree of our very own.

He's thinking of throwing this at something.

With that we collected a few of the prized Fir cones.  We're not sure yet where we will plant any seedlings that they may produce, but we do know a couple of things.  One, that Lukas is very excited about the prospect - who knows, perhaps he will one day take some of it's seeds to Mars.

And two that where ever it grows, this certainly won't be just another tree.

10 comments:

momnextdoor said...

That is incredibly cool! I think you HAVE to plant the seeds so you can have your very own moon tree! Very, very cool!

Slamdunk said...

Great story James. Looks like you found a true treasure.

Jack said...

Since I live in LA I can tell you that we indeed helped with the big cover up over the moon landing.

Go to Universal Studios and take the special tour and you can see the sound stage and fake moon rocks that were used to fool the world.

Actually I am always surprised by how many people don't believe that we have been to the moon and think it was staged.

Seems like a funny sort of coverup/conspiracy to me.

That moon tree is pretty cool. Amazing to think where it started, where has been and where it is now.

Hey Monkey Butt said...

Very cool!! I must say Im alittle jealous, I'd love to plant one of those. The coolest thing we have (that I know of) is a tree that owns itself which is cool. But has never been to space!

If I Could Escape said...

That's an awesome story to tell. Very cool indeed.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Momnextdoor Yeah, no doubt. How many people have their very own Moon Tree? Thanks for the comment.

@Slamdunk - Absolutely. Those are the types of opportunities one has to take advantage of.

@Jack - People don't really believe that do they? Actually, I don't know why I wonder about that. Some people would believe anything, some won't believe anything.

@Hey - A tree that owns itself? Now you have me wondering about how that could be. Thanks for the comment.

@Karen - Yeah, we all thought it was a cool idea. It's great to make a big deal of such things.

andyflower01 said...
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Tom Riles www.tomriles.com said...

Dude...that is awesome. Thanks for sharing! I had no idea that seeds went to the moon, and have now been planted. Allright...that last sentence sounds weird in a different context...

Diplo_Daddy said...

Wow! Now this is really interesting. I've never heard about the Moon Tree. You're really lucky to have the chance to actually go and visit it.

Mrs. LIAYF said...

@DiploDad - Several of the seeds germinated into seedlings and were planted all over the US. Maybe there is a moon tree near you!

Here's a webpage that shows where they are planted:
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/moon_tree.html