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Moon expert talks importance of Apollo 11 mission

Posted: 8:16 PM, Jul 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-19 20:16:40-04
Moon landing anniversary: Weather on the moon

LANSING, Mich. — This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 space mission and man walking on the moon.

NEWS 10 talked to a moon expert to learn more about the moon and the future of flights to it.

Dr. Nicolle Zellner, a Physics Professor at Albion College, told us how important Apollo 11 was for the United States.

"Getting humans on the moon, was an incredible technological achievement. A lot of the technology that was developed during Apollo is stuff that we use today. Computers used to fill entire buildings, now you can hold one in your hand that's just as powerful."

She said that Apollo was just the beginning of exploration in the moon and the solar system and showing that humans could survive in space.

Because of the moon landing we learned that the moon formed from a collision of a Mars-sized object with the earth.

We also learned the moon was volcanicly active - the dark circles we see when we look at the moon are basins from volcanoes.

Zellner has met astronauts and laughed when she told us that they are passionate and outgoing about lunar exploration but they are a lot shorter than you'd imagine. She explains that's because they have to fit in the little capsules.

She has done research on lunar meteorites - which we've had for years but didn't know they were from the moon until the astronauts came back from the moon and a scientist realized they were of the same make up.

Zellner said traveling back to the moon is in the works.

The next program is Artemis, twin sister of Apollo. And the next man and woman to land on the moon is scheduled to be by 2024. NASA has asked for $1.6billion in next year's budget to start this process.

When asked how this next trip will be different than 50 years ago - she said it will be basically the same because the physics don't change.

We asked her if astronauts would be able to text or Facebook Live from the moon on the 2024 trip... and she said she didn't know, but would assume there will be that kind of capability.

Zellner will be giving a talk to the public about the Apollo 11 mission, the role Michigan played in the lunar landings and her research this Saturday July 20 at 1pm at the Delhi-Holt Library, 2083 N. Aurelius Road, Holt, MI.

You can watch the full interview here and learn about the moon, missions, and even her thoughts on "Storm Area 51."

For more about Dr. Nicolle Zellner you can check out her story on earth's early days on the Albion College website.

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