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article imageDestination Moon: Exploring our relationship with our satellite Special

By Tim Sandle     Sep 5, 2019 in Science
London - A new exhibition at London's National Maritime Museum celebrates humanities relationship with the Earth's only satellite and the historic Apollo mission Moon landings. The displays show how the Moon has exerted a powerful pull on human imagination.
The exhibition, designed to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, is the U.K.’s biggest exhibition dedicated to Earth’s celestial neighbor.
Moon logo exhibition used at the National Maritime Museum.
Moon logo exhibition used at the National Maritime Museum.
The exhibition is at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, U.K. The museum is housed in one of the historic buildings which forms part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. Most of the museum is dedicated to all-things sea and navigation.
A large  ship-in-a-bottle   on display on entry into the National Maritime Museum.
A large 'ship-in-a-bottle', on display on entry into the National Maritime Museum.
In addition, 2019 sees the special exhibition 'Destination Moon'.
A visitor at the Moon exhibition examines some of the audio visual material (National Maritime Museu...
A visitor at the Moon exhibition examines some of the audio visual material (National Maritime Museum).
The exhibition charts the cultural and scientific story of humanity's relationship with the Moon. There are artworks from J.M.W. Turner, El Anatsui, Tom Hammick and Larissa Sansour on show, plus Hugh Percy Wilkins’s Map of the Moon, which is highly detailed and took years to construct.
There are many objects showcasing our fascination with the Moon:
A copy of Sidereus Nuncius   a short astronomical treatise  published in New Latin by Galileo Galile...
A copy of Sidereus Nuncius, a short astronomical treatise, published in New Latin by Galileo Galilei on March 13, 1610.
Makwala  a Moon mask designed by artist Tony Hunt. These masks were used by some of the first people...
Makwala, a Moon mask designed by artist Tony Hunt. These masks were used by some of the first people to population Canada (Inuit).
There are various objects showing how the Moon has influenced a variety of things, from early medicine, religion, fine art and through to pop culture.
Included in the exhibition is one of the first, powerful telescopes used to study the Moon - the Nasmyth telescope, where light is reflected sideways before reaching the primary mirror again.
A reflecting telescope developed by James Nasmyth. Nasmyth built plaster models based on his visual ...
A reflecting telescope developed by James Nasmyth. Nasmyth built plaster models based on his visual observations of the Moon and then photographed the models.
Included in the exhibition are lunar samples collected from NASA’s Apollo missions and the Soviet Union’s Luna program, plus fragments of meteorites from the Moon which have reached Earth. An example of one of the lunaites on display is shown below:
A lunar meteorite. Most lunar meteorites are launched from the Moon by impacts making lunar craters ...
A lunar meteorite. Most lunar meteorites are launched from the Moon by impacts making lunar craters of a few kilometers in diameter or less.
The exhibition features over 180 objects, including important artifacts from NASA's Apollo 11 mission.
A selection of images from the Apollo Moon missions  on show at the National Maritime Museum  London...
A selection of images from the Apollo Moon missions, on show at the National Maritime Museum, London.
A large section of the museum is focused on re-living the momentous events of the original 'Space Race', though the use of objects and audio / visual material.
Included among the objects is the Apollo 11 flight-plan, where detailed minute-by-minute activities were recorded. Instructions for each astronaut are indicated by their job title initials.
One of the detailed mission books used for the Apollo Moon landing.
One of the detailed mission books used for the Apollo Moon landing.
Plus Buzz Aldrin's 'Snoopy cap':
The headset worn by Buzz Aldrin form the Apollo 11 Moon landing. The headset carried the nickname  S...
The headset worn by Buzz Aldrin form the Apollo 11 Moon landing. The headset carried the nickname 'Snoopy hat'.
And examples of the equipment used on the Moon to collect lunar samples:
Trenching shovel and tongs  of the type used by Apollo mission astronauts.
Trenching shovel and tongs, of the type used by Apollo mission astronauts.
And no exhibition would be complete without a replica of the Saturn V rocket, used for the Apollo missions:
Saturn V rocket. The three-stage liquid-propellant expendable rocket was developed to support the Ap...
Saturn V rocket. The three-stage liquid-propellant expendable rocket was developed to support the Apollo program for human exploration of the Moon and was later used to launch Skylab, the first American space station.
Plus there are items from more recent lunar missions, including Chandrayaan-1, which was the first Indian lunar probe under Chandrayaan program. The item below is a type of spectrophotometer used on the lunar mission.
A spectrophotometer (as used on the Chandrayaan-1 Moon visit). Spectrophotometry is the quantitative...
A spectrophotometer (as used on the Chandrayaan-1 Moon visit). Spectrophotometry is the quantitative measurement of the reflection or transmission properties of a material as a function of wavelength.
The exhibition also looks ahead to the future of space exploration and the 21st century drive for humans to return to the Moon.
What might a future Moon base be like? Artist Sean Thomas Allen depicts a vision of  Moontopia .
What might a future Moon base be like? Artist Sean Thomas Allen depicts a vision of 'Moontopia'.
A key question going forwards - who owns the Moon and who has the right to exploit the resources?
A key question going forwards - who owns the Moon and who has the right to exploit the resources?
This includes the cultural and political ramifications, delving into questions like 'who owns the Moon?', 'how will the Moon be exploited?', and 'will we build lunar bases?'
Visitors reading about the Apollo 11 Moon landings at the National Maritime Museum.
Visitors reading about the Apollo 11 Moon landings at the National Maritime Museum.
The enticing exhibition in London, chronicling both our bewitching relationship to the Moon and the Apollo missions, runs until January 5, 2020.
More about Moon, Moon landing, Space, Planet, Earth
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