How many golf balls are on the moon? This is a question that has been a matter of concern for many people.
If you are a golf enthusiast, have you ever wondered whether there is any golf ball on the moon? Also, who made that golf shot, and how did golf balls get on the moon?
Let’s find the answer below, and it will definitely surprise you!
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How Many Golf Balls Are on the Moon?
It may be impossible to answer how many golf balls have been played on the Earth so far, but it is possible to answer how many golf balls are on the moon.
The exact number we have so far is two golf balls. Both were taken to the moon by an astronaut in the Apollo 14 space project.
Apollo 14 was the third NASA mission to the Moon, aiming to assess the Moon’s structure and measure the composition of its atmosphere.
Before Apollo 14 landed on the Moon, humans had set foot on this land a few times, but this was the first time an astronaut played ‘lunar golf’.
Who Hit Golf Balls on the Moon?
In early 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American astronaut to go into space thanks to the Mercury-Redstone 3 mission and the second astronaut in the world to make a space flight. The first was Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin.
In the Apollo 14 project, Alan Shepard became the 5th astronaut to set foot on the moon, and he also made a record with the longest time being there.
On top of that, the most special thing about Alan is that he becomes the first and only person in human history up to the present time who can play golf on the Moon.
Here’s a short video showing Alan Shepard’s historic golf shot on the moon:
When Was the Golf Shot on the Moon Made?
In 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon. Just two years later in 1971, another American astronaut, Alan Shepard, brought home a new milestone as the first person in history to play golf on the moon.
American astronaut Alan Shepard came to the Moon on Apollo 14, which landed on February 6, 1971. After reaching the Moon, Alan swung his club there and became the first person in history to play golf on the Moon.
What Type of Club Is Used to Play Golf on the Moon?
Speaking of that year, as commander, Alan Shepard, along with another astronaut, stepped out of the lunar module, embarking on two walks. They were on the Moon to collect more than about 45kg of Moon rocks for an experiment.
Before going to the Moon, Alan Shepard had planned to do something special. He took a club head from the Earth, modified and customized the clubhead 6 to prepare for a Lunar golf swing.
To avoid the public’s attention, he sneakily hid the clubhead in his socks to bring on the spaceship. Interestingly, this number 6 clubhead is adjustable, enabling Alan to hide it easier.
Alan’s club head weighs 467 grams, and the shaft is made up of many flexible hollow segments that can be shortened or lengthened completely at will.
How Far Does a Golf Ball Go On the Moon?
During the event that marked the 50th anniversary since the launch of Apollo 14, Andy Saunders, an old photo retouching expert, has cooperated with the American Golf Association to re-engineer six archived photos from that flight.
Thanks to these pictures, Saunders has successfully calculated how far two golf balls were hit. He said the first golf ball traveled a distance of 24 yards, and the second golf ball flew up farther to 40 yards.
In the spacesuit, Shepard could not hold the shaft with two hands. Instead, he decided to swing only with his right hand four times in total.
Initially, the ball track was estimated at 200 yards. But through subsequent image analysis, experts determined that the third shot was 24 yards and the last hit 40 yards with the ball hovering for nearly 30 seconds.
This is due to the influence of the Moon’s environment, in which the gravity is six times smaller than that of the Earth. Therefore, 200 yards of the Earth would be 1,200 yards of the moon, or a jump of 1 meter is equivalent to 6 meters above the surface of this place.
Where Are the 2 Golf Balls Hit Now?
Two golf balls were left behind and are still there until this day. However, Shepard brought back the 6-iron club head and two-ball sock.
After returning to Earth, Alan Shepard donated the club to the Golf Association Museum in America in 1974. They are now still on display in the United States Golf Association’s Hall of Fame in New Jersey, USA.
The National Air and Space Museum, owned by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., holds a replica version of this golf club.
Above are the answers to the question “How Many Golf Balls Are on the Moon?” that you are looking for. I hope you find it interesting. This is truly a great milestone for humans to be able to play golf on the moon. So proud, isn’t it!
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