APOLLO MISSION MILESTONES THAT OCCURRED IN FLAGSTAFF:
Artists worked with scientists at Lowell Observatory to create beautifully detailed lunar maps. Much of this work was accomplished by observing the Moon through Lowell telescopes, including the historic 24-inch Clark Refractor, which remains in use today for public education.
Photo courtesy of Pat Bridges.
USGS scientists studied the Moon through telescopes at Lowell Observatory, Northern Arizona University, the US Naval Observatory’s Flagstaff Station, and the USGS telescope built specifically for lunar mapping.
Photo credit: USGS photo P879B, F1221
US Geological Survey Branch of Astrogeology begins operations in Flagstaff, with the purpose of providing lunar mapping and science training for the astronauts destined for the Moon.
Photo credit: NASA photo S-64-13809
All astronauts who walked on the Moon, including Neil Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Buzz Aldrin, and Flagstaff scientist Jack Schmitt, trained in Flagstaff and northern Arizona at multiple locations.
Photo credit: USGS photo P463, F11067199
USGS astrogeologists created the lunar maps used for selecting landing sites on the Moon. Today, the USGS Astrogeology Science Center supports NASA and other space agencies with planetary mapping for numerous spacecraft missions throughout the solar system.
Photo credit: USGS photo P899, F106962
Using explosives, geologists create a simulated lunar surface in the cinder fields near Sunset Crater, complete with a network of craters modeled after authentic Moon craters. These fields were ideal for training astronauts and testing equipment, including lunar rover vehicle simulators (Moon buggies).
Photo credit: USGS photo 768227-3
NASA and the USGS test three lunar rover vehicle simulators at Sunset Crater, Merriam Crater and surrounding volcanic features. Two were built in Flagstaff, and one remains on display today at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center.
Photo credit: USGS photo P741, F16960PR
Apollo 11 Mission is the first manned lunar landing and Coconino County Superior Court reporters traveled to Mission Control in Houston to transcribe conversations in real time between astronauts and Mission Control personnel.
Photo credit: USGS photo P599, F66811
US Geological Survey (USGS) Branch of Astrogeology scientists worked in Mission Control in Houston during the Apollo Moon flights, helping direct the astronauts' lunar excursions.