Although the makeup of the Moon's
surface had been debated since the dawn of Mankind, the need to understand the
lunar surface commanded greater attention as humans began to journey to from
the Earth to the Moon.
The astronauts have a sense of humor. Does that surprise
anyone? There are many instances where they played practical jokes on each
other. Was it to have fun? To relieve stress? To break the tension? Well, you
would have to ask them.
One example of the types of practical jokes the astronauts played on each other
during the Apollo Era was the Apollo 14 "Roadrunner" or BEEP BEEP
There are many accounts of the story behind the patch that are detailed in
different books such as, "The Last on the Moon" by Gene Cernan, but
the basic tale is that the Apollo 14 backup crew used this patch to drive the
Apollo 14 prime crew towards their goal of landing on the Moon.
April 20, 1972, John Young and Charlie Duke landed on the Cayley Plain in the
Descartes Highlands region of the Moon. Apollo 16 was the fourth lunar landing
and second "J" mission which included an enhanced lunar module for an
extended stay on the Moon and the Lunar Rover.
Among the many scientific experiments Young and Duke had to perform on the
lunar surface during their three EVAs (Extra Vehicular Activity), they were
required to take core samples at designated locations at each research station
on their itinerary.
have navigated by the stars, since the dawn of man. Those seemingly stationary
pinpoints of light in the night sky provided mariners and aviators the
direction home as mankind moved into modern times. It would only be natural to
use the stars to determine the proper course of a spacecraft during a voyage
into outer space.