The Moon, Dust, a Tool, and the Temptation of Kilroy
October 20, 2014 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Did any of the astronauts that walked on the Moon ever write anything on the surface? I don't mean plaques or official markers, but simply a word, name, phrase, or doodle (ex. "Kilroy was here") by using the tools at hand onto the lunar surface?

I cant seem to find any mention of it, and do not recall ever hearing of it even mentioned, even as an direct order not to do so. I know at least one astronaut left a photo there with writing on it, but I am speaking of the lunar surface itself. The temptation to do it would seem to me to be enormous - not just because you are standing on the celestial-sized version of a dirt-covered rear window of a car, but the deep, almost instinctive need of humans over the last 50,000 years (or perhaps even 1.4 million years) to create some form of marker to say in some fashion, 'I was here.'

Picture it: you're on the moon, you are a little ways away from the landing site, collecting moon rocks and dirt with a scoop or shovel tool, and the idea comes to you to write something. No one would know for ages, and if you just make it an inch or two deep in the loose dust, it could possibly stay there for billions of years. Why not do it? Who could blame you for such a little thing after all the work and risk you took to get there? I can understand the reasoning for not doing so, but the temptation would be a hard thing to fight.
posted by chambers to Science & Nature (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Oh, you mean like Gene Cernan?
posted by mochapickle at 8:47 AM on October 20, 2014 [8 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh, you mean like Gene Cernan?

That's just what I was looking for! Thanks! My google-fu was failing me today.

The thought occurred to me today while I was reading that Tom Hanks Moon Trip story today over on the blue.
posted by chambers at 9:51 AM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not a name, but in terms of unofficial/non-approved measures taken by astronauts without NASA's knowledge, the Fallen Astronaut statue is maybe relevant.
posted by misterbrandt at 10:01 AM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

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