Have you ever heard of a Moon Tree? In 1971, while Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell were walking on the moon, Stuart Roosa, a former U.S. Forest Service smoke jumper, orbited above in the command module. According to NASA, Roosa had hundreds of tree seeds packed into his personal kit as part of a joint NASA/USFS project. When they got back down to earth, these seeds that had been to the moon were germinated by the Forest Service and were eventually planted around the world as part of America's 1976 bicentennial celebration.
One such Moon Tree was planted on July 30, 1976 in San Luis Obispo, California. The Coast Redwood (sequoia semperviruns) was "dedicated to the people of San Luis Obispo to commemorate the Bicentennial of the United States of America, and for the enjoyment of all future generations, by the California Division of Forestry and the Society of American Foresters".
Today the tree towers overhead along a quiet path in Mission Plaza. To the casual passerby it looks like any other tree, but if you happen to spot the plaque at its base you will find that you are in the presence of a tree that flew on the Apollo 14. How many trees can say that?
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