12 Interesting Factoids About U.S. Trips to The Moon That You Have Never Heard

9. Driving on the Moon.

Project Apollo Archive




On the fourth trip to the moon, the lunar module was equipped with a rover. The rover allowed the astronauts to travel greater distances than they could on foot. Driving the rover was not as easy as it looks. The tests conducted on the rover while on Earth yielded different results. On Earth, the weight of the astronauts and their space suits held them down on the rover.

On the moon, we only weigh 1/6th as much as we do on Earth so the astronauts weighed less and had trouble driving the rover. Commander David Scott, who was the first to drive the rover, ended up reclining on the seat.

10. Problems with the Rover.

Project Apollo Archive

The time outside of the space module is short for astronauts as they have limited supply of oxygen. The rover was very helpful in the Apollo missions as it helped the team travel farther and collect more samples in a short period of time.

During the final Apollo mission, the astronauts were getting the rover ready for a spacewalk. As Commander Eugene Cernan was walking past the rover, his hammer caught on the fender and broke it. This was not a huge deal, although the astronauts were completely covered in moon dust.




11. According to Astronauts, the Moon Has a Certain Smell.

Project Apollo Archive

Astronauts who landed on the moon claim that the moon has a distinct smell. While on spacewalks, the astronauts are subjected to moon dust. After entering the lunar module and removing the helmets, they were able to smell the dust. They explained it as “wet ashes in a fireplace” and “gunpowder,” respectively.

But when the materials were brought back to Earth, they had no smell. This is because the oxygen-rich atmosphere renders the dust and makes it odorless.

12. Apollo 17 Broke Records.

Project Apollo Archive

The Apollo 17 mission was the last of the Apollo program. By the end of the mission, a number of records were broken.

  • It was the longest manned lunar landing flight.
  • Astronauts traveled the farthest distance on the Moon.
  • The biggest amount of Moon rocks (252 pounds) were collected.
  • The longest time spent in lunar orbit.





Before leaving the lunar surface, Eurgene Cernan said:

“…I’m on the surface; and, as I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I’d like to just [say] what I believe history will record. That America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. “Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”

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