The American flags planted on the moon by Apollo astronauts are still standing, according to new photographs from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The only one that is not standing is the one from Apollo 11, the first manned mission to the moon.
An enduring question ever since the manned moon landings of the 1960s has been: Are the flags planted by the astronauts still standing?
Now, lunar scientists say the verdict is in from the latest photos of the moon taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC): Most do, in fact, still stand.
"From the LROC images it is now certain that the American flags are still standing and casting shadows at all of the sites, except Apollo 11," LROC principal investigator Mark Robinson wrote in a blog post today (July 27). "Astronaut Buzz Aldrin reported that the flag was blown over by the exhaust from the ascent engine during liftoff of Apollo 11, and it looks like he was correct!"
Each of the six manned Apollo missions that landed on the moon planted an American flag in the lunar dirt.