We’ve been writing a lot about the Moon for the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings, such as the Apollo Moon Landing guide and Space Facts for Kids, and if the little astronauts in your life are planning their own mission to space, but they’re not sure what to do when they get there, perhaps they’ll take some inspiration from the Apollo astronauts?
We’ve put together this guide to what the Apollo astronauts did on the Moon. Whether your kids are at home or in the classroom, they can learn about why we went to the Moon, what we did there, and take inspiration to plan their own super mission to space!
Once they’ve planned their mission, they can enter a competition to win some fantastic prizes from Learning Resources!
- Out of this world Super Suction Space Saucers
- Build a space-themed world with the colourful Gears Gears Gears!® Space Explorers Building Set
- Turn your bedroom into an intergalactic experience with this jumbo Inflatable Solar System
- Help planet Phoneme and boost your phonics skills with Space Mission Nonsense Words
- Extract, Identify, and explore science with the Beaker Creatures® Whirling Wave Reactor™
- Explore the natural wonders of the earth, moon and beyond with the GeoSafari® Vega 360 Telescope
What did the astronauts do when they went to the Moon?
While on the moon’s surface, the astronauts set up several scientific experiments, but they also had a lot of fun!
Collected Moon rocks
The Moon might not be made of cheese, but Moon rocks aren’t the same as the rocks we have on Earth because they contain no water and are covered in bubbles. So, the Apollo astronauts collected lots of samples of rock and soil to bring back home so scientists could do experiments on it.
Planted a flag
There were six Apollo missions that landed on the moon, and all of the astronauts who landed planted the American flag. Unfortunately, the Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who were the first people to walk on the moon in 1969, planted theirs a bit too close to the Lunar lander; they knocked it over when they took off to come home!
Placed a plaque
The Apollo 11 astronauts placed a plaque on the base of their Lunar lander, which is still on the Moon to this day. It read “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”
Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard took a golf ball along with him to the Moon. Because gravity is weaker on the Moon, he was able to hit the ball over two miles! What sport would you play on the Moon?
Did you know that the Moon has “moonquakes”? They’re like earthquakes, except they’re on the Moon! The Apollo astronauts left devices called seismometers on the lunar surface so that we could measure these moonquakes from Earth; they tell us lots about what the inside of the Moon is like.
Left behind some mirrors
The astronauts of Apollo 11, 14, and 15 all left behind a piece of equipment called a retroreflector array. Scientists bounce laser beams off these arrays and calculate how far away the Moon is based on how long the laser beams take to come back.
Took a drive
Apollo 15, 16, and 17 each took a special Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), also known as a moon buggy. This meant that the astronauts could drive around on the Moon!
What would you do if you went to the Moon?
These facts might have given your little astronauts some ideas about what they would do if they ever went to the Moon. Perhaps you could get them to plan their own Lunar mission at home or in the classroom?
They could use this list to help plan their trip:
- Your astronaut name
- The name of your spaceship
- What would you do on the Moon?
- What would your plaque say?
- What would your spacesuit look like? Have a go at drawing it!
Once they’ve drawn themselves as astronauts, the kids could enter the Moon Landing competition over at Lonely Planet Kids; they’re giving away lots of fantastic Learning Resources prizes! Head over to their competition page to find out how to enter. Good luck!