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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Has a 50-year-old mystery about playing golf on the moon finally been solved?

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Apollo 14 astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. conducts an experiment near a lunar crater, using an instrument from a two-wheeled cart carrying various tools.

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Uncredited/AP1971

Half a century ago this week, US astronaut Alan P. Shepard Jr was busy making space history.

Shepard, commander of the NASA’s Apollo 14 mission in 1971, became the first person to hit a golf ball on the moon.

What is less certain, is how far the ball travelled. The first one, he hit short. The second one he was famously quoted as saying travelled for “miles and miles and miles”. But it was never verified and has remained a mystery ever since.

But now, 50 years on, one imaging specialist believes he has finally found the answer.

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“Because of these high-resolution scans of the original flight film that have been recently made available, and some digital enhancing technology, I managed to find the second ball and solve the mystery of how far it did actually go,” UK-based photography specialist Andy Saunders told The Cube, Euronews’ social media newsdesk.

Saunders said he was able to locate the second ball in an image and estimated that it only went about 36 metres.

“The distance was kind of disappointing, but its good to know it’s [the ball] been found,” Saunders added.

Researchers at The University of Southern Maine think the ball could have stayed above the surface for more than a minute, but because of the moon’s low-gravity environment, it would not have travelled for “miles and miles”.

This isn’t the first time Andy has made headlines with his work.

For Neil Armstrong’s 50th moon landing anniversary, he used image-enhancement techniques to reveal life aboard Nasa’s Apollo 13 spacecraft, in detail never seen before.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WCT staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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