Space Programs

The Apollo Missions

Since there is no air or wind on the Moon, how come the flags planted by the Apollo astronauts stand straight out?

The American flags planted on the Moon are attached on their side to a vertical flagpole, and they are also attached at the top by a horizontal crossbar. They were hung in such a way that the crossbars are not generally visible in the photographs taken by the Apollo astronauts, although the crossbars can be seen if you look carefully. Also, when a flag is planted on the Moon, the vibrations traveling through the flagpole will temporarily cause the cloth flag to shake and wave. Those motions will last for quite a while because there is no air resistance on the Moon to slow them down.


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