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Plaque, Fallen Astronaut and Cosmonaut, Reproduction


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Space Race exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This is a replica of the plaque commemorating the fourteen U.S. astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts that had died previous to the flight of Apollo 15 in 1971. The original plaque was placed on the Moon's surface by Apollo 15 commander Dave Scott in August 1971, to accompany a miniature sculpture of a human figure (made by Belgian artist Paul van Hoeydonck).

The plaque and statue were left without publicity and their existence was only revealed during the Apollo 16 launch. This replica was given to the Smithsonian Institution on April 17, 1972, the day after CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite revealed, during the broadcast of the Apollo 16 launch, the existence of the "fallen astronaut" and plaque as the first art on the Moon.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Gift of Paul Van Hoeydonck




2-D - Unframed (H x W): 15 × 18.2cm (5 7/8 × 7 3/16 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number