The Space Window with actual moon rock at the National Cathedral, Washington DC, July 4, 2002

April 15, 2011

Check out these Washington Nationals images:

The Space Window with actual moon rock at the National Cathedral, Washington DC, July 4, 2002
Washington Nationals
Image by Chris Devers
This photo doesn’t really do the window justice, as the white spot at the center of the disc has an embedded rock brought back from the moon on one of the Apollo missions.

The Wikipedia article on the National Cathedral mentions the Space Window, but only briefly, and there isn’t (currently) a page about the window itself. Likewise, an NPR piece from 2007 discusses it (along with the Darth Vader gargoyle outside), and various random tourist blogs mention it & show photos, but again I’m not finding much detail there. Finally, going to the horse’s mouth, as it were, "The Space Window on the south aisle of the Cathedral contains a piece of lunar rock."

I’m curious about that rock. What Apollo mission did it come from? When did it come back to Earth? When was it put in this window? One source says "its moon rock fragment, a gift by the Apollo astonauts on the 5th anniversary of their moon landing", while another elaborates "the Scientists and Technicians Window, also known as the Space Window, located on the south side of the nave. A piece of moon rock brought back to Earth by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11 is embedded in the window in a clear glass bubble to keep it from oxidizing."

I guess that’s close enough to authoritative for me, though I still find it odd that the cathedral’s own webside doesn’t include that detail. This isn’t just any old moon rock — heck, in the whole world, there must be like literally a dozen of those. No, this is a rock that the very first person to set foot on the moon brought back with his own hands, and gave to this place on the 5th anniversary of that achievement.

That’s really impressive, isn’t it? I think it is.

Washington Nationals vs. Texas Rangers, 06/22/2008, Nationals Stadium, Washington, DC
Washington Nationals
Image by Photo Phiend
ESPN recap of the game.

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