As part of his visit Buzz Aldrin held an hour-long question-and answer session with children from all the schools of the region, which he seemed to particularly enjoy.
Dr Aldrin carefully considered each question before answering in a way to ensure all the children were well engaged.
Before the questions got under way, Chief Scientist of WA Professor Lyn Beazley, explained to the 400 children about the State’s connection with the moon and space.
Dr Beazley described how the region’s whalesharks are tracked using NASA technology because their spots are similar to stellar constellations.
Tranquilityite, which was brought back from the moon by Dr Aldrin, had just been discovered in the Pilbara, after being the only rock not to be found anywhere on the earth, she said.
“Science is alive and well here,” she said.
One of the questions that particularly stumped Dr Aldrin came from East Carnarvon Primary School’s Sam Gibbings.
“Were you scared when the switch broke to the ascent engines,” he asked.
“Who told you about that,” Dr Aldrin said.
He went on to explain how the circuit breaker for the engine arm button had broken, which was essential for returning home, but seemed surprised to have been put on the spot by a primary school student.
Another East Carnarvon student, Jai Lawer, asked whether it was hard to put the American flag into the moon’s surface to which Dr Aldrin said yes and only photographs would show it standing erect because the force of the lift-off from the moon knocked the flag over.Exmouth District High School’s Talia Jackson asked how Dr Aldrin got into NASA, to which he responded: “I was in the right place at the right time.”
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