Has Anyone Been Buried on the Moon?
This episode is brought to you by the Capital One saver card. Earn four percent cashback on dining and entertainment two percent at grocery stores and one percent on all other purchases. Now when you go out you cash in what's in your wallet terms apply. Welcome to brain stuff a production of iheartradio. Hey, brain stuff, Lauren Bobo bomb. Here you gene, or gene shoemaker trained, astronauts and founded a new science born on April twenty eighth nineteen twenty eight Schumaker was one of the twentieth. Century's? Great minds, his work on impact craters affected, everything from Nasr's Apollo missions to the dinosaur extinction debate for his contributions to human knowledge, he was awarded the national medal of science by then president George H W Bush in nineteen Ninety-two, but a different honor eluded him shoemaker studied the moon from afar, but he often dreamed of climbing into a spacesuit and walking on its surface. Sadly, he never got the chance Addison's disease crushed his hopes of becoming an astronaut, but in nineteen Ninety-seven some of his ashes were laid to rest near the moon southern poll that made him the first and to date the only person to ever receive a lunar burial. It was a poignant epilogue to the man's career. Schumaker was a geologist by training and craters were one of his great passions. He helped confirm that the famous Barringer crater near flagstaff, Arizona crater that's five hundred seventy feet or one hundred seventy three meters. Deep was made by an asteroid impact. He also championed the hypothesis that another such impact killed last non avian dinosaurs sixty six million years ago and by mapping some of the craters on our moon. He revolutionized our understanding of its geology in nineteen sixty one the United States geological surveys set up an Astra geology research program shoemaker often considered the founding father of Astra geology was chosen to lead. It NASA would enlist his services to shoemaker joined future. Apollo astronaut on field trips to Barringer crater and other sites where he trained them to collect rock samples a perhaps seemingly simple skill set. But one would let them eventually bring home the first moon rocks humans ever saw and thus making all kinds of research possible. His work was instrumental to the discovery of the shoemaker Levy nine comet which struck Jupiter in one thousand nine hundred four one of the comments co-discoverers was Eugene's wife and fellow scientist Carolyn shoemaker cumulatively, gene. And Caroline discovered. One thousand one hundred twenty five asteroids and thirty two comments, but on July eighteenth, nineteen Ninety-seven. The couple was involved in a tragic car accident though Caroline survived. Gene was killed. The very next day shoemakers former student Carolyn Porco, devised a fitting tribute, a planetary scientist at the university of Arizona Porco learned that her mentor was going to be cremated. So she spearheaded an effort to put an ounce. That's twenty eight grams of his ashes aboard NASA lunar prospector spacecraft the cost of sending things into space can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars per pound in terms of time and energy and research. And so although physically small that single ounce is a huge tribute polycarbonate earn capsule was built by Celestis these same company that sent ashes of Star Trek creator, gene Roddenberry into orbit wrapped around shoemakers. Capsule was a brass foil ribbon bearing a picture of the Barringer crater and thematic quote from Romeo and Juliet. And when he shall die take him in cut him out in little stars. And he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun. With the precious cargo in tow, the spacecraft launched at Cape Canaveral Florida on January sixth nineteen ninety eight more than a year later the vessel whose objective had been to hunt for water with deliberately crashed near the lunar. South pole shoemaker's ashes went down with it. Celestis hopes to enter other human remains on the moon at some point. But for the moment, she maker has the place to himself Carolyn shoemaker said in the nineteen ninety eight press release it brings a little closure in a way to our feelings. We will always know that when we look the moon. The gene is there. Today's episode was written by Mark man, Cini and produced by Tyler clang brain. Steph is a production of iheartradio's how stuff works for more in this lots of other unearthly, topics. Visit our home planet has works dot com and for more podcasts. Right. Heart radio is the iheartradio app. Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Today's episode is brought to you by the new Capital One saver card. Earn four percent cashback on dining and entertainment two percent at grocery stores and one percent on all other purchases. Now when you go out you can cash in what's in your wallet.