Walk in the Footsteps of the Apollo Astronauts 

Release Date:

Walk in the Footsteps of the Apollo Astronauts

 

Eugene Cernan (right) and Harrison Schmitt drive Grover; Sunset Crater lava flows visible in background.

S-72-54903 - Apollo Grover Historical Photo: B9 - Eugene Cernan (right) and Harrison Schmitt drive Grover; Sunset Crater lava flows visible in background.

The Geological Society of America will be holding its annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona September 22 - 25, 2019.  The following field trip, led by Astrogeology Science Center Scientist Greg Vaughan, will be available as an option to participants of the annual meeting. 

Walk in the Footsteps of the Apollo Astronauts 

Fri.–Sat., September 27 - 28, 2019 

Field Trip Description

Every astronaut who walked on the Moon trained in Flagstaff, AZ. In the early 1960s, USGS scientists led this training, teaching geologic principles and field techniques to the astronaut crews. Flagstaff scientists and engineers also developed and tested scientific instrument prototypes, and communication and transportation technologies that would aid in lunar exploration. Astronomers and cartographers also played a key role, preparing lunar charts for navigation at landing sites. This field trip will take participants along a historical path to key sites where the Apollo astronauts trained. We will see: (1) Grover, the geologic rover simulator on which the astronauts trained; (2) Telescopes at Lowell Observatory used to map the lunar surface, as well as some of the original airbrushed maps; (3) the Bonito Lava Flow training area at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument; (4) the Cinder Lake crater field, which was created in 1967 to simulate the lunar landscape for training astronauts and testing equipment; and (5) Meteor Crater, the best-preserved exposed impact crater on Earth. During this field trip, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of humankind, we hope to connect participants to the experiences of the astronauts, and to the excitement and inspiration of the origins of human space exploration. We also hope to facilitate continued visitation of the sites (e.g., through class field trips) and educate the broader scientific and science education communities about the role that Flagstaff played in the Apollo expeditions to the Moon.