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The Question

(Submitted September 14, 1997)

I'm looking for a picture of the Apollo 15 astronaut dropping the hammer and falcon feather that hit the ground at the same time. Can you help?

The Answer

You can find a picture of this via the Kennedy Space Center's history pages devoted to the Apollo missions. Go to (

and link to one of the image directories. The Nasa Photo Id for the picture is S71-43788.

You'll see, unfortunately, that this image is rather fuzzy. But if you look carefully, you can see the hammer and the feather just as they hit the ground. If you need further assistance, you might also try KSC's Public Affairs office. Their web site is at

This site contains some additional names, contact numbers and other possible links that you might find useful.

You might also be able to find the picture in astronomy textbooks.

If you're desperate, there is a doctored picture illustrating the same principle in the expanded and illustrated edition of Stephen Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time'. See figure 2.3, but note that it is not a picture from Apollo 15 but maybe from Apollo 11.

Jim Lochner and Allie Cliffe
for Ask an Astrophysicist

Questions on this topic are no longer responded to by the "Ask an Astrophysicist" service. See for help on other astronomy Q&A services.

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