The Apollo 11 plaque on the descent stage of the Lunar Module Eagle on the Moon bears the signatures of Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, and U.S. President Richard M. Nixon[1]

Lunar plaques are stainless steel commemorative plaques measuring 9 by 7+58 inches (22.9 by 19.4 cm) attached to the ladders on the descent stages of the United States Apollo Lunar Modules flown on lunar landing missions Apollo 11 through Apollo 17, to be left permanently on the lunar surface. The plaques were originally suggested and designed by NASA's head of technical services Jack Kinzler, who oversaw their production.[2]

All of the plaques bear facsimiles of the participating astronauts' signatures. For this reason, an extra plaque had to be made for Apollo 13 due to the late replacement of one crew member. The first (Apollo 11) and last (Apollo 17) plaques bear a facsimile of the signature of Richard Nixon, President of the United States during the landings, along with references to the start and completion of "man's first explorations of the Moon" and expressions of peace "for all mankind".

All, except the Apollo 12 plaque (which is also textured differently), bear pictures of the two hemispheres of Earth. Apollo 17's plaque bears a depiction of the lunar globe in addition to the Earth. The plaques used on missions 13 through 16 bear the call-sign of each mission's Lunar Module. All the plaques were left on the Moon, except the two for the aborted Apollo 13 mission which did not land on the Moon.

Plaques deployed

Apollo 16 Lunar Module
"The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind."[3]
(Signatures: Neil A. Armstrong; Michael Collins; Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.; Richard Nixon, President, United States of America)

Plaques gallery


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See also


  1. ^ "Apollo 11 Image Library". Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  2. ^ Johnson, Sandra L. (Fall 2008). "Red, White & Blue: U.S. Flag at Home on the Moon". Houston History Magazine. 6 (1): 60.
  3. ^ The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (unamended). Public Law #85-568, 72 Stat., 426.
  4. ^ Marylou Doehrman (Oct 17, 2003). "A candid interview with a presidential speechwriter". Colorado Springs Business Journal.
  5. ^ a b William Safire (July 17, 1989). "Of Nixon, Kennedy and Shooting the Moon". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Nelson-Miller - Membrane Switch Manufacturer History".