Of the remaining cohort of Earthlings privileged to set foot on the moon, let’s extend 88th birthday greetings this week to Buzz Aldrin. As the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11, he was one of the first two humans to land on the Moon, and the second person to walk on it, in July of 1969.
On January 15th, 1973, the Soviet Union launched their second lander and rover to the moon, just a month after the final Apollo lunar mission returned.
Lunokhod 2 spent 3 months traversing, testing, and photographing. It fell into a crater in May 1973 and the mission was over. Interestingly, Richard Garriott, video game designer, space tourist and son of Skylab and Space Shuttle astronaut Owen Garriott, bought the lander and the rover at a Sotheby’s auction for $68,500 in 1993. He’s currently the only person to own a piece of space hardware on another celestial body.
This is a great week to begin a full lunation (moon phase) observation. New Moon is Tuesday night Every day, watch the moon grow from a very thin crescent up to the first quarter.