Thursday, 1 August 2019

mons hadley

Commissioned and placed near their landing site on the lunar surface on this day in 1971 by the crew of the Apollo 15 mission, the aluminium abstract eight-centimetre figurine Fallen Astronaut by Belgian artist Paul Van Hoeydonck is the sole artwork (it’s debated whether the postage stamp sized ceramic wafer was really smuggled on-board in an astronaut’s suit and left behind) and poignant memorial on the Moon.
Keeping it a secret until after they returned to Earth, the laid the statuette on the lunar soil along with a plaque that records the names of fourteen astronauts and cosmonauts, regrettably omitting the sacrifice of Valentin Vasiliyevich Bondarenko and Grigori Grigoryevich Nelyubov as their deaths were not disclosed by the Soviet space programme and kept secret and Robert Henry Lawrence Jr, an Air Force officer and presumably considered a military asset as he was in training to be part of a crewed reconnaissance satellite experiment.