Anniversary of First Man on the Moon – Dinosaurs in Space

Today, marks the fortieth anniversary of the first manned moon landing.  The first people to walk on the moon were the American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.  The Command Module pilot, Michael Collins remained in the lunar module and did not set foot on the moon.  The Apollo 11 mission was successfully completed and the team returned to Earth, bringing with them the first samples of moon rocks.  Over 20 kilogrammes of material was collected, the rocks were identified as igneous basalts and have been estimated to be over 3.7 billion years old.  The lunar module landed in the Sea of Tranquillity, a relatively flat part of the moon, but the actual landing was over 6,000 metres from the initial aim point.

The astronauts safely returned to Earth having spent a total of approximately 21 hours on the lunar surface.  The return craft safely splashed down in the Pacific ocean on July 24th and the warship USS Hornet was able to pick them up and retrieve the Command Module.  The total mission length was just over 195 hours.  The first manned mission to the moon with the first manned moon landing and moon walk on July 20th 1969, could arguably be regarded as mankind’s greatest technological achievement.

Dinosaurs have also made it into space.  As far as we know two species of dinosaur have made it beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.  The first dinosaur in space was Maiasaura peeblesorum a Hadrosaurine dinosaur.  A piece of bone from a baby Maiasaura and Maiasaura eggshell was taken up into space by an astronaut on a NASA mission in 1985.  This dinosaur is known from a nesting colony found in Montana (United States) in the 1970s.  It lived in large herds and nested in colonies, migrating to the same nesting site each year.  More than 200 fossil skeletons ranging from embryos to mature adults have been found.

An Illustration of Maiasaura and a Nest

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Just one small step for man, a great leap for a late Cretaceous Hadrosaurine.

To read more about dinosaurs in space Maiasaura and Coelophysis: dinosaurs in space – Maiasaura

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