Apollo 11 astronaut Neil A. Armstrong left this bootprint
in the lunar soil at Tranquillity Base, July 20, 1969. The impression,
about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) deep, demonstrates the fineness and cohesiveness
of the lunar soil.
A SURVEYOR "FOOTPRINT"
of a footpad of the U.S. unmanned Surveyor 3 spacecraft was
photographed on the Moon by Apollo 12 astronauts who had landed their
lunar module near the Surveyor. Surveyor 3 had landed on the Moon 31 months
before it was visited by the astronauts. The Surveyor had bounced upon
landing, leaving the footprint. Television images of the footprint and
other lunar features had been transmitted to Earth by Surveyor after it
landed. These images showed that men and machines would be able to move
about without sinking deep into the soil.
LUNAR ROVING VEHICLE TRACKS The wheels of the lunar roving vehicles used
for transportation on the Moon by the crewmen of Apollo 15, 16, and 17
were specially designed to provide support and traction in the soft lunar
soil. Studies of the wheels' performance and the tracks
they left have improved understanding of the mechanical properties
of lunar soil.
Apollo 17 astronauts discovered an area of orange
soil on the rim of Shorty crater, in the Valley of Taurus-Littrow.
A trench was dug to obtain samples of this material. Subsequent study
of the orange soil indicates that it was formed during volcanic eruptions
3.7 billion years ago.
about Lunar Soil