Apollo 8 found Santa on the Far Side of the Moon...but where? - MyMoon

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"Please be informed there is a Santa Claus." Jim Lovell, Apollo 8, to Mission Control.

Apollo 8 swung around the far side of the Moon on their way home, and on Christmas of '68, that was their report upon first coming out of radio silence. This was, of course, the most important discovery of the entire Apollo program.

But since then, it has been left curiously un-researched, and begs an important question...

Where, exactly, on the far side of the Moon did they see Santa?

Without further ado, here's a few most likely locations for the lair of our jolly Lunar friend...

1 ) Mare Moscoviense. A quick glance at the far side in Google Earth, and this feature stands out like a sore thumb. Or hoof...as one of the only maria on the far side, it seems like a nice, calm, flat place on the hillier half of Luna to set down and build a workshop. But, considering Santa's reindeer-launching needs (that sleigh's gotta get out of orbit and airborne), perhaps a location with a peak is more optimal...

2 ) Tsiolkovskiy. A-ha! This impossibly-named mare on the far side has an unusual feature: a big friggin' peak coming up out of the middle of it. It's also the second of the only two major mare features over yonder (though I'm sure the Far Side Bureau of Commerce will debate that one in tourism guides over the next few centuries).

The peak has inspired fun conspiracy theories (it's too cool looking to possibly not be artificial, goes the gist), and Jack Schmitt wanted Apollo 17 to go there, so it's got some cred..but there's a point which elevates just a little higher in our study.

3) The Highest Point on the Moon. Indeed! Why launch off Pilot Butte when you can hurl gifts upwards off of the lunar equivalent of Mount Everest? Discovered by LOLA in 2010 (I'll guess the drinks there taste like cherry cola), the point is actually more-or-less higher than Everest.

But, it's only at about a 3-degree grade, so it's a practical-if-boring place to pitch Earth's presents off of.

Delving into Christmas lore, there's one last place which makes the most sense of all...

3) The Lunar North Pole. Of course! It's a North Pole you might actually be able to take a train to someday; water ice was discovered in great abundance there in 2010, so it's industrially lucrative; and it's close to the near side, so it's easy to take a stroll and catch an Earthrise once in a while (Sam Bell style). A potentially perfect place for our portly space pioneer to be placed.

But, I'll let you decide...where do you think Santa is on the far side of the Moon?


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