Remastered photographs reveal how far Alan Shepard hit a golf ball on the Moon

This image consists of six photographs taken from the Apollo 14 Lunar Module, enhanced and stitched into a single panorama to show the landing scene, along with the location from where Alan Shepard hit two golf balls. Both astronaut's PLSS' (life-support backpacks) can also be seen at left.

Enlarge / This picture consists of six pictures taken from the Apollo 14 Lunar Module, enhanced and stitched right into a single panorama to point out the touchdown scene, together with the placement from the place Alan Shepard hit two golf balls. Each astronaut’s PLSS’ (life-support backpacks) may also be seen at left. (credit score: NASA / JSC / ASU / Andy Saunders)

Fifty years in the past this week, NASA astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. made area historical past when he took a number of golf swings on the Moon in the course of the Apollo 14 mission, efficiently hitting two golf balls throughout the lunar floor. House fans have debated for many years simply how far that second ball traveled. It appears we now have a solution, due to the efforts of imaging specialist Andy Saunders, who digitally enhanced archival photographs from that mission and used them to estimate the ultimate resting spots of the golf balls.

Saunders, who has been working with america Golf Affiliation (USGA) to commemorate Shepard’s historic feat, introduced his findings in a Twitter thread. Saunders concluded that the primary golf ball Shepard hit traveled roughly 24 yards, whereas the second golf ball traveled 40 yards.

Shepard’s fondness for cheeky irreverence had popped up often throughout his profitable pre-NASA naval profession, most notably when he was a check pilot on the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. He was almost court-martialed for looping the Chesapeake Bay Bridge throughout a check flight, however thankfully, his superiors intervened. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower established NASA in 1959, Shepard was chosen as one of many seven Mercury astronauts. (The others had been Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, and Deke Slayton.)

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