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A race against time to find Apollo 14's lost voyagers
Date:2/9/2011

ch trees went where, he created a webpage to collect as much information as possible. A flurry of emails came in from people who either knew of or came upon the trees.

"About a year after I put the webpage up, someone contacted me and asked why I didn't have the moon tree at Goddard listed," he says. "I hadn't known it was there!" Goddard's moon tree is a sycamore, planted in 1977 next to the visitors' center.

Williams has so far listed trees in 22 states plus Washington, D.C., and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. In many cases, the trees' extraordinary pedigrees were recorded on plaques or in newspaper clippings commemorating the event. Whenever possible, Williams has posted photos of the trees.

Second-generation moon trees, also tracked by Williams, continue to be planted. On Feb. 9, 2005, the 34th anniversary of the Apollo 14 splashdown, a second-generation sycamore was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery "in honor of Apollo astronaut Stuart A. Roosa and the other distinguished Astronauts who have departed our presence here on earth." At the invitation of Roosa's family, both Williams and a group of students from Cannelton attended the ceremony.

Another sycamore was planted at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., on April 22 (Earth Day), 2009. And on Feb. 3, 2011, one was planted in Roosa's honor at the Infinity Science Center, which is under construction at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

Rosemary Roosa, the astronaut's daughter, attended the Stennis ceremony. Her father, she says, was a strong supporter of science and space exploration, and she hopes the trees will serve as a reminder of the accomplishments of the U.S. space program as well as an inspiration to "reach for the stars."

People who know of the special legacy of the trees periodically check on them and contact Williams if a tree gets sick or knocked down by a storm. "Sometimes, I get an email from someone who went to the si
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Contact: Liz Zubritsky
Elizabeth.a.zubritsky@nasa.gov
301-614-5438
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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