Apollo 15 Homage...
In October 2003,
and I set out from Glasgow on a space geeks' tour which, in part, involved meeting up with Dave Scott for a meal at his favourite Italian restaurant in London, near Leicester Square. As NASA had not allowed him to keep any of the rocks that he collected on the Moon during his Apollo 15 mission, we decided to present him with surrogates for two of his favourites - the 'Seatbelt rock' (#15016), which was a piece of scoracious basalt, and of course, the famous piece of anorthosite that the press named the 'Genesis rock' (#15415). We secured what we hoped was a chunk of anorthosite from a mountain at the southern end of the island of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, and a chunk of 'aa' type basalt reputed to have come from a lava flow on the island of Tenerife. Furthermore, we decided to pay homage to the lunar sampling techniques by documenting our samples. So we built a gnomon lookalike out of some surplus knitting needles and a dollop of Blu-Tack, and used ziploc sandwich carriers as our sample bags.
On our drive south in the SRV (Scottish Roving Vehicle), we stopped at Jodrell Bank and found, to our delight, that the parking lot is open ground inlaid with small white rocks, so we gathered up a selection and plonked down our two amongst them, then we took a
locator shot showing our rover and a prominent horizon feature (the Lovell telescope dish), a down-sun, capturing the calibration chart on the up-sun leg of the gnomon, the photographer's shadow, and the lower portion of the second person, just as in all those Hasselblad shots taken on the Moon (unfortunately, our budget didn't extend to a Hasselblad!). After a cross-sun stereo pair (first, second) had been taken, we sampled the anorthosite, popped it into the bag numbered 943, took an 'after' shot, and then grabbed the basalt, which went into bag 761.
As we finished off our meal with Dave Scott, we announced that we had a surprise for him, presented a set of printed pictures, which we had stapled together at one corner so that he would view them in sequence, and then, to his amazement, gave him the bagged rocks. He promptly extracted our anorthosite, held it against the candle on the table, and said that he could see the glint from the twinning of the crystals, thereby confirming it was anorthosite. To the surprise of the other diners, we then stood in a line, Dave Scott holding the samples, and had our picture taken by the proprietor. Much fun was had by all concerned.
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