NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera has relayed images back to Earth showing that five of the six American flags placed on the Moon during the Apollo missions were still standing and casting shadows on the surface.
The images confirm that one flag was knocked down, a incident that Buzz Aldrin has long stated occurred from the force of exhaust during the Apollo 11 lift-off from the Moon’s surface in 1969, according to a blog by NASA’s Mark Robinson.
“Personally, I was a bit surprised that the flags survived the harsh ultraviolet light and temperatures of the lunar surface, but they did,” Mark Robinson wrote in the blog. “What they look like is another question.”
Robinson said the best way to confirm the flags are still standing would be to view a time lapse series of the LROC images taken at different times of day, watching as the shadow circles the flag.