Flags on the Moon and the Men Who Put Them There – A Tribute to Edgar Mitchell

What is a Lunar Flag Assembly (LFA), you might ask? It’s a kit containing an American flag designed to be planted by astronauts during the Apollo missions. Seven kits were sent to the moon but only six were planted.

What’s LFA made of?

This kit was made of nylon flags hung on telescoping staffs and anodized aluminum tubes. The flags were carried outside of the ship in a thermally insulated case to protect them from exhaust gas temperatures. The assembly was designed by Jack Kinzler in Houston, Texas and measured at 3 by 5 feet.

Who? Where? When?

Flag on the moon_Armstrong

The first LFA was deployed on July 21, 1969 during the Apollo 11 mission. Arguable the most well known LFA of the six as it was the first and erected by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

The third was deployed in February of 1971 by Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell. On February 4th, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell died in Florida at the age of 85 after a short illness.

Mitchell was the sixth man to walk to moon during his mission from January 31 to February 9, 1971. Mitchell passed one day before the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 14 mission. He was one of only 12 people to step foot on the moon.

Below you see a photo of Mitchell with a Lunar Flag Assembly, one of six placed on the moon.mitchell_flag on the moon

The last LFA deployed on the moon was December 11, 1972 by Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt. In the photo Harrison Schmitt poses by the flag with the Earth visible above the flag.flag on the moon_apollo17

In 2012, photographs were taken to indicate Apollo 12, Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 missions flags were still standing.

 

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