Back in the 1970s, during the Apollo missions, the NASA researchers observed something puzzling. Namely, the Moon’s surface was warmer than usual. In 2010, a team of scientists started to examine why was that happening back then. Now, 8 years later, the scientists were able to solve this lunar mystery thanks to the missing Apollo missions tapes.
After the researchers found and examined the missing tapes, they concluded that the Apollo missions themselves were the cause of the mysterious Moon’s surface warming.
Accordingly, as the astronauts were driving their rovers on the Moon’s surface and deploying probes for different readings, the lunar surface was disturbed and started to reflect less sunlight than usual which triggered a temperature increase of about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (about 2 degrees Celsius).
The scientists agree that the recent results are also of great importance for the future manned missions to the Moon because they prove that every human intervention on the Moon could change the Moon’s environment.
The lunar mystery of surface warming couldn’t have been solved out without the missing Apollo missions tapes
In 2010, when the recent study commenced with the objective to find out why the Moon’s surface was warmer than usual during the Apollo missions, the scientists gathered all the data they thought necessary. However, they would soon have realized that something was missing and they couldn’t find an answer without filling the gaps.
They started looking for the missing Apollo missions tapes and soon discovered that NASA was keeping a copy of every tape for archiving purposes. The scientists recovered 440 tapes, dated April, May, and June 1975, from the Washington National Records Center, in Suitland, Maryland.
Additionally, the scientists put their hands on the weekly logs held at the Lunar And Planetary Institute, in Houston, that showed all the temperatures of the Moon’s surface, recorded between 1973 and 1975.
After several years during which the researchers examined the data recorded in the weekly logs and the Apollo missions tapes, they were able to solve the lunar mystery of why the Moon’s surface was warmer during the manned missions to the Moon. Accordingly, during those missions, the lunar surface was heating from the surface down, indicating that the Apollo missions’ astronauts were causing the warming up by disturbing the environment on the surface of the Moon.