Where Are the Moon Trees from Apollo 14 Today?



Since 1977, a stately sycamore has greeted visitors to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. It looks like any other sycamore, one tree among many on the quiet, leafy campus in suburban Maryland. What many passersby may not realize as they stand under its shade or admire its changing foliage is that this tree came from the moon. The Goddard sycamore is one of the dozens of so-called “moon trees” scattered around the country, grown from seeds that traveled with astronaut Stuart Roosa on the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. During that time, Roosa had hundreds of seeds tucked inside his personal kit. Part scientific experiment, part public relations venture, the seeds represented a joint project between the U.S. Forest Service and NASA. After splashdown, the seeds went into quarantine along with the crew, and over the next few years the saplings were planted across the country. There are currently 80 verified trees still living and seemingly doing just fine.