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Moon landing 50th anniversary: NASA footage shows astronauts falling over

Hilarious footage from the NASA archive reveals brave Apollo astronauts being bested by low lunar gravity.

A video reveal shows the space heroes falling over again and again while trying to navigate the moon’s rocky surface, reports The Sun.

Although amusing, the footage was actually collected by NASA to study astronauts losing their footing.

One of the astronauts completely stacks it. Picture: NASA
media_cameraOne of the astronauts completely stacks it. Picture: NASA

NASA used Apollo 15 footage to track metabolic rates of astronauts moving up and down hills, as well as across flat terrain.

And Apollo 16 footage was studied to compare how human movement and dexterity differs on the earth and moon, as noted by ScienceAlert.

The problem with movement on the moon is that gravity is so much lower.

In fact, gravity’s pull on your body on the moon is about a sixth of the gravity on earth.

If you drop an object here on Earth, it will fall at around 9.807 metres per second.

But drop the object on the Moon and it will fall at a far slower 1.62 metres per second.

This causes a strange effect based on the difference between mass and weight.

Weight is simply the mass of your body multiplied by gravity.

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Another one bites the dust. Picture: NASA
media_cameraAnother one bites the dust. Picture: NASA

So on the moon, your mass stays the same but your weight is different.

And inertia — your moving body’s resistance to changes in direction — is related to your mass, not weight. So inertia stays the same on the moon, but you “feel” lighter.

This makes you very clumsy when you move around, because your movements happen in unexpected ways.

NASA even made detailed documentations of these space falls.

An official description of Commander David Scott’s trip on Apollo 15 reads: “[David] begins moving toward a new area as he gives the camera reading and summarises the description of the area.

Lunar gravity dictates the astronauts just can’t keep their feet. Picture: NASA
media_cameraLunar gravity dictates the astronauts just can’t keep their feet. Picture: NASA

“He steps around a group of rock fragments and then his right foot steps into a small depression and he begins to lose his balance.

“As he steps with his left foot, it slides off a small rock and continues sliding on the loose surface soil.

“While trying to drive his feet back under his centre of gravity, Scott increases his forward velocity.

“He then falls forward with both hands extended to break the fall. Landing on his left side, he rolls counterclockwise and on his back and is then out of view of the TV camera.”

The video comes in the same week that the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

The astronauts keep losing their footing. Picture: NASA
media_cameraThe astronauts keep losing their footing. Picture: NASA

On July 16, 1969, three astronauts — including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin — launched into space from Florida.

And on July 20, they touched down on the moon, becoming the first humans to walk on the lunar surface.

This story was originally published in The Sun and is reprinted with permission.

Originally published as Video shows astronauts stacking on moon

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