50 years since Apollo 14 return brings moon trees

On Feb. 9, 1971, NASA's Apollo 14 astronauts came home after the agency's third trip to the moon. Former U.S. Forest Service firefighter Stuart Roosa, the mission's command module pilot, returned with about 500 seeds that grew into moon trees. (Feb. 5)

Video Transcript

BRIAN ODOM: Apollo 14, kind of in the aftermath of the Apollo 13 accident, was a kind of a let's get back to business. We're always trying to see how microgravity impacts all kinds of different things. But wouldn't it be interesting to see how it impacts the germination of seeds.

And so they took a small packet along with [INAUDIBLE] of about 500 seeds, and while in lunar orbit, kind of had those seeds germinated, returned those seeds back to Earth. These trees were planted around the country and actually sent as gifts around the world. The work that NASA does is incredibly important for Earth science.

And so I think that's kind of resonates with people as well. You've got these trees. And from an Earth Day celebration, you might think about going and visiting a moon tree or planting a half moon tree or something like that. So it really does bring the value of that science home. But it also brings the connection to that science, I think, to people in these locations.