Family photo on the moon was left by astronaut in 1972 and has a hidden message

A successful mission both professionally and personally
  • Astronaut Charles Duke made history during the Apollo 16 mission in April 1972
  • Charles Duke decided to leave behind a family photo on the moon
  • The picture featured Charles, his wife, and their two sons

Published on May 3, 2024 at 4:51PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on May 3, 2024 at 4:55PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Kate Bain
Charles Duke in his space suit

Astronaut Charles Duke made history during the Apollo 16 mission in April 1972, becoming the youngest person to set foot on the moon back then.

It was a significant achievement both professionally and personally for Charles.

He fulfilled his dream of exploring space while also feeling the presence of his family with him.

READ MORE: How astronauts come back from space as ‘different people’ has been explained

During his time on the moon’s surface, Charles Duke decided to carry out a special gesture by leaving behind a family photo.

The picture featured Charles, his wife, and their two sons, Charles III and Thomas.

On the back of the photo, he wrote a message detailing their visit to the moon, creating a unique memento of their journey.

He saw little of his children during his rigorous astronaut training.

So the idea to bring the family photo to space stemmed from Charles’ desire to involve his loved ones in his once-in-a-lifetime moon experience.

He wanted to show them that his whole family could go to the moon with him, making the journey more meaningful and personal.

There’s no doubt that Apollo 16 was a successful mission, and the photo is still resting on the surface of the moon.

However, Charles Duke had concerns about the condition of the photo over time.

The extreme temperatures on the lunar surface, and its frequent change during the day and night, could have affected the picture.

On top of that, due to its small size, the photo was impossible to spot with satellites for a condition check.

But it’s not about the photo getting deteriorated. It’s more about the sentimental value it holds for Charles Duke and his family.

It takes a lot to become an astronaut.

Years of rigorous training and little to no time left for the family.

So while it might be just another emotional story for us, it’s way more than that for Charles.

We hope the memento left on the moon by the astronaut remains in perfect condition for years and years.

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