The American Space and Aviation Administration (NASA) sent 500 seeds into space to observe how they will change in different conditions. The seeds went into space on the Apollo14 mission in 1971 and circled the Moon 34 times. These trees were then planted in the USA, Europe and South America. NASA published the map of the plants it called the “moon tree” on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 14.
About 500 seeds from different tree species were sent into space in 1971. These seeds, circulating around the moon 34 times, were later planted at different points on the Earth. The American Space and Aviation Administration (NASA) shared a map showing the locations of 83 lunar trees, two in South America and one in Europe.
However, the types of trees range from red pine to Douglas fir, to sycamore and loblolly pines. However, a third of the trees have died since they were planted in the 1970s.
“Moon trees” appeared as part of the Apollo 14 mission. Apollo 14 started on January 31, 1971. The astronauts landed on the Moon on February 5, 1971, and returned to Earth on February 9, after about a 9-hour Lunar walk. Taking on the mission, Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell walked on the moon, while Stuart Roosa spun 34 times in orbit with seeds on the command module.
During the mission the seeds were classified and a group of seeds were left on Earth for comparison. The seeds to be sent to space were placed in Roosa’s kit, but after the crew returned to earth, the canister exploded open and many seeds became unusable.
NASA then gave the seeds to the U.S. Forest Service to follow until they germinated, but some were not planted years after the mission. Seedlings returning healthily from space travel were planted in the US (usually as part of the country’s 200th anniversary in 1976) and around the world. However, the trees were forgotten after a while.
But former astronaut David Williams made the situation a personal matter, and in 1996 he started a project to find trees.
Williams, who started the map with 22 moon trees, stated that the number of trees he found increased to 83 and that 21 of them have died to date. But Williams said the fates of many trees had nothing to do with space travel.
On the other hand, William said the trees were planted in the White House, the International Friendship Forest in various regions in Brazil and Switzerland, various universities and NASA centers. He also added that some of the trees were sent to the Japanese Empire and some European countries for diplomatic purposes.