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Neil Armstrong Explains Why He Didn't Run Wild on the Moon

Illustration for article titled Neil Armstrong Explains Why He Didnt Run Wild on the Moon

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon in 1969, neither one ever strayed more than 100 yards from the lunar lander. NPR writer Robert Krulwich questioned why this happened in a story yesterday. Today, Armstrong replied.

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You see, according to Armstrong, it was hot out there. Real hot. Like 200 degrees Fahrenheit hot. And because their space suits made use of a cutting edge water cooling system that hadn't been tested extensively, they had no idea how long the suits would hold up.

Also, they were lab rats for NASA, which meant that they had to stay within range of the video camera, so that NASA could study and observe their interactions with the environment for future reference. But Armstrong didn't do it all by the book...he managed to sneak away into a nearby crater for explorative purposes. You can also read the entire thing here. [NPR via Boing Boing]

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DISCUSSION

Wait, 200 degrees on the moon? I thought the moon had no atmosphere and was a vacuum. I was under the impression that the vacuum of space had no heat. Was this the result of simple uninhibited sunlight?