In 1971, NASA astronaut named Stuart Roosa went on the Apollo 14 mission. He became one of the 24 individuals to step on the Moon. On their mission trip, he brings 500 tree seeds as an errand from the U.S. Forest Service.
The previous agency where Roosa worked for as a firefighter wondered on how space would affect tree seeds.
They have a hypothesis that the trees will germinate when it is back on Earth. The Apollo 14 mission is the perfect occasion to test their assumptions.
That’s why they asked for Roosa’s help. He was glad to partake in their research by bringing seeds from five diverse types of trees into space with him. Many people are calling this “Moon Tree”
After the mission trip, most seeds germinated back at the Forest Service stations in Mississippi and California.
Moreover, the state forestry organizations also have seeds that they will plant as part of the 1976 Bicentennial celebration.
The other tree seeds from the moon reached the White House, Brazil, Switzerland, and the Emperor of Japan.
NASA and the Forest Service implanted the first Moon tree in Philadelphia’s Washington Square in 1975.
Unfortunately, the sycamore tree didn’t last for long and died in 2011.
However, a new seedling replicated from the dead tree’s trimmings was planted near to it and successfully grow into a beautiful tree that still stands up to today.
There are other Moon trees that are still planted in the U.S. Make sure you do visit them if you have a chance just like the one in Washington Square.
Don’t forget to share this historical story with your friends and family.