When the first rocks were returned from the Apollo 11 mission, samples were given to 135 different countries around the world as a gesture of good will. These rocks have withstood every possible geology test from labs around the world, and these have confirmed they are indeed of lunar origin.
Glass spherule from an Apollo 11 Moon rock.
Credit: Timothy Culler (UCB) et al., Apollo 11 Crew, NASA
No other space mission, manned or unmanned, has been capable of returning such quantities of rock. We brought back samples and learned a ton about lunar geology from them. Most remarkably, the lunar samples we've found have indicated that Earth and the Moon have a common origin, consistent with a giant impact that occurred only a few tens of millions of years into the birth of our Solar System. Without direct samples, obtained by the Apollo missions and brought back to Earth, we never would have been able to draw such a spectacular conclusion.
The Moon landings were a unique, amazing moment in history and we can’t wait to celebrate its upcoming 50th anniversary this year! We also look forward to the moment when humans once again return to the Moon.
In the meantime, here is our video of 5 incredible numbers which draw you a picture of Apollo Mission:
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