The American flag isn’t displayed exclusively in the United States. When traveling abroad, you may see it displayed in foreign countries. But the most unique place where the American flag is displayed is the moon. For over a half-century, the American flag has been plated on the lunar surface. To learn more about the American flag on the moon, keep reading.
The Lunar Flag Assembly
In the late 1960s, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) decided to plant the American flag on the moon during its upcoming Apollo 11 mission. NASA has originally proposed to send a United Nations flag to the moon. After much debate, they decided to use an American flag.
The Lunar Flag Assembly (LFA) is the name given to the case for the moon-bound American flag. It was designed by Jack Kinzler. Kinzler recognized the need for thermal protection, so he designed the LFA so that it could withstand up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The LFA was attached to the side of the Apollo Lunar Module. And on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the moon.
When Armstrong and Aldrin initially planted the American flag, they struggled to make it stand upright. They weren’t able to dig very deep into the moon’s surface. Armstrong and Aldrin eventually buried the American flag about 7 inches deep, and after stepping away from it, they discovered it was able to stand upright.
A Total of 6 Flags Were Planted on the Moon
Contrary to common belief, there wasn’t a single American flag planted on the moon. Over the years, there have been a total of six American flags planted on the moon.
The first American flag was planted on the moon During the Apollo 11 mission. The remaining five American flags were planted on the moon during the Apollo 12, Apollo 13, Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 missions.
The American Flags Still Stand on the Moon
Even after all these years, the American flags still stand on the moon. Photos taken from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2012 confirmed that the American flags were still on the moon. The only exception is the original American flag from the Apollo 11 mission.
What happened to the American flag during the Apollo 11 mission? Upon returning to Earth, Aldrin explained that the American flag was knocked down by the Apollo 11’s exhaust system. As the Apollo 11 lifted off, it projected exhaust gases toward the American flag, thus knocking it down.