“Eugene Shoemaker: The Only Human Buried on the Moon”

Gene Shoemaker was a scientist who had long dreamed of walking on the Moon. Although he made various significant contributions to humanity’s exploration of space. For example, he co-discovered the Shoemaker-Levy comet that hit Jupiter back in 1994 and his study of meteor impact craters proved quite valuable when the time came for NASA to select Apollo mission landing sites. He also postulated that the end of the dinosaurs might have been caused by an asteroid hitting the Earth. Unfortunately, health issues caused him to be bumped out of consideration to be an Apollo astronaut.

Shortly after Eugene Shoemaker was killed in an automobile accident in 1997, one of his students suggested that some of his ashes should be placed on the Lunar Prospector probe which was about to be launched on a mission that was planned to end with the probe crashing onto the Moon. Less than six months later on January 6, 1998, the probe, with about 30 grams of Shoemaker’s ashes on board, crashed into the Moon. Shoemaker became the first human to have some of their remains deliberately placed onto a celestial body.