Golf on the Moon: Alan Shepard’s milestone turns 50 | Digital Trends Spanish


It is likely that Alan Shepard’s career was destined to go down in history. In 1961, the astronaut became the first American to be sent into space, after the Soviet Yuri Gagarin.

However, there is another event that served to record his name in the records of space exploration. One so unique, that it is highly unlikely to happen again.

On February 6, 1971, a day like today 50 years ago, Alan Shepard became the first human to play golf on the surface of the Moon.

POT.

How did it happen?

After taking an extensive lunar walk, and before returning to the Apollo 14 module, the astronaut stopped for a moment and took out an iron and two golf balls from a sock; It was a special stick, thicker and foldable to be functional in space.

Shepard assembled the club, which had been covertly incorporated into the mission, set up a ball, and made the first blow that sent it far into the direction of a crater. He had more luck with the second attempt, which threw the ball a greater distance.

POT.

Everything was recorded in the images recorded by the crew, with which it was later determined that the first ball traveled 22 meters and the second 36.

Beyond the distance traveled (several physicists have explained the difficulties of hitting the moon), Alan Shepard made history thanks to this singular fact.

What motivated you?

There is no explanation as to why he carried out this “prank”. Perhaps he was just looking for a way that his passage through the natural satellite of the Earth would be marked forever.

“As a golfer, I was intrigued. I thought: ‘What a beautiful place to hit a golf ball,’ “said the ex-astronaut in an interview with NASA in 1998, just five months before he died of leukemia.

Others claim that Shepard would have been inspired by a visit that comedian Bob Hope made to NASA headquarters in Houston in 1970, which used a golf club to maintain balance when Shepard himself took him to a lunar gravitational demonstration.

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