The Goddard Moon Tree
Image of Goddard Moon Tree
An Image of the Goddard Moon Tree. Credit: NASA
Over by the Goddard Visitor Center stands a fenced sycamore tree that went to the moon and back in its seedling years on the Apollo 14 mission in early 1971.

Former U.S. Park Service smoke jumper employee Stuart Roosa went to the moon aboard Apollo 14. He was the one responsible for taking along various tree seeds and bringing them back as part of a joint project with NASA and the U.S. Forest Service. Roosa carried hundreds of Loblolly Pine, Sycamore, Sweetgum, Redwood and Douglas Fir tree seeds which were to be compared with seeds on Earth upon the crew's return.

Once back on Earth, during the decontamination process the canisters of seeds burst open. The seeds were presumed to be no longer viable. Fortunately the seeds were sent to Forest Service stations in Mississippi and California and were germinated successfully. Some of the "moon" trees were planted with their earthly counterparts for observation, but most were given away between 1975 and 1976 to many state forestry organizations, the White House, Brazil, Switzerland, the emperor of Japan, various universities and NASA centers.

> List of Known Moon Trees