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'Moon bloopers' from NASA is the space footage we didn't know we needed

Apparently, walking on the moon is harder than it looks.

Astronauts falling on the moon is some stellar entertainment.

When Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, the story of life on Earth was dramatically and forever changed. No longer were we bound to the land on our own planet. We had set foot on another orb in space, broken a new frontier, literally going where no man had gone before.

The words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," spoke to the technological advances that had catapulted the human race from the first sustained, powered human flight to landing a man on the moon in less than 70 years. It was truly an incredible feat.

That "one small step," that people around the world watched on their television sets was seriously momentous. But the steps the world didn't see were genuinely hilarious.


NASA has footage of astronauts trying to walk around on the moon's low gravity, zero atmosphere surface, and apparently, it's a lot harder than it looks. The graceful bouncing of astronauts we've seen in moon landing films belies how easy it was to fall and trip. And once you fall down in a huge space suit in gravity conditions your body isn't used to, it's not so easy to get back up again.

Universal Curiosity shared a montage of "moon bloopers," if you will, sped up 2x for optimal comedic effect. Watch these brilliant space scientists stumble Three Stooges-style as they make their way around the moon:

Eight of the 12 astronauts who have walked on the moon shared recollections of their time on the moon with Forbes in 2019. Nearly across the board, they talked about having a keen understanding of the historic nature of their moon missions, but also being totally focused on the checklists of what they needed to do while they were there. Each Apollo moon mission was limited by time, so there wasn't a lot of opportunity to just goof around.

Some astronaut falls were accidental, including one that nearly cost astronaut Charlie Duke his life during the Apollo 16 mission. While jumping up and down on the moon to see how high he could go—not part of the mission—Duke lost his balance and fell backward onto his fiberglass shell backpack. Thankfully, it didn't crack, but it was a deadly possibility that would have left him without life support and victim to the vacuum of space.

Other falls were planned experiments to see how the conditions on the moon affected human locomotion, providing valuable information for scientists. Still hilarious to watch, though.

This Dark5 documentary segment shares more details about why walking on the moon is such a challenge and the actually quite serious stories behind some of these falls:

If you're a night owl who loves stargazing, 2016 is going to be a busy year for you. This year is packed full of remarkable sights — including three supermoons, two eclipses, and dozens of meteor showers. Some of them you'll need a telescope or binoculars to see, but many are visible with your naked eye alone.

Here are the things we'll be watching for in the night sky through the rest of 2016:


1. In March, Jupiter will come closer to Earth than it ever will in the next two years.

Image by NASA, ESA, and A. Simon/Wikimedia Commons.

On March 8, Jupiter reaches opposition (astronomy-speak for "the time when its orbit around the sun brings it closest to Earth"). You’ll be able to see the planet through binoculars or a telescope — if you have the latter you might be able to see its moons or the Great Red Spot).

Then on March 9, skywatchers in parts of Sumatra and Indonesia can grab their pinhole projectors to watch 2016's only total solar eclipse. If you're not able to grab a last-minute ticket to Palembang — don't worry. The next total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017 will be visible across a huge part of the United States.

2. Break out your macro lenses to photograph April's "minimoon."

Image by NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre/Flickr.

There are three "supermoons" in 2016, but only one "minimoon." On April 21, the moon will be at "apogee," its furthest point from Earth. That's about 10,000 more miles away than normal and 30,000 more miles away than during a "supermoon."

On April 9, skywatchers with powerful telescopes will be able to see the planet Uranus as it reaches "conjunction" and starts to pass behind the sun. This is the perfect time to brush off your best "Uranus" jokes from fourth grade (to get you started, here's one of my personal favorites).

April 22 will bring the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower. Like August's Perseid meteor shower, these meteors are bright, slightly blue, and often leave long trails. In an average year, about 10-15 meteors can be spotted in the sky, but it may be harder to see them this time because of the full moon.

3. In May, Mercury will transit the sun for the first time in a decade.

Image via ESA/NASA/SOHO.

Skywatchers in the southern hemisphere are in for a treat May 6-7 with the peak of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. This shower is usually good for about 30 meteors an hour — but you might be able to see even more since it's happening during a new moon when the skies will be much darker.

One of the most anticipated astronomical events of 2016 will happen on May 9, when the planet Mercury passes in front of the sun for the first time in a decade! Mercury is tiny, so you won't be able to see its path across the sun with the naked eye or through a pinhole projector — you'll need a refracting telescope or one with a solar filter. Definitely do not stare directly into the sun trying to see it. Check out your local astronomy center or skywatching group to see if they're doing public viewings, or if you can wait, NASA will have plenty of photos afterward — like this collection from 2012's transit of Venus.

May 21 will bring 2016's first blue moon. Sadly, it won't appear blue (unless Instagram filters count); that's just the name for the second full moon in a month.

On May 22, the planet Mars reaches "opposition," also known as its closest point to Earth of the year. If you have a telescope or binoculars, this will be a good night to break them out and see the red planet in all its glory. The last time it was at opposition was 2003.

4. If you've saved up for binoculars or a telescope, June is a great month to break them in.

Image from NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

Like Mars a few weeks earlier, Saturn's orbit will bring it closest to Earth on June 3. Skywatchers with home telescopes or medium-to-high-powered binoculars should be able to see Saturn's famous rings — and maybe even a few of her moons too.

5. Join NASA as Juno reaches Jupiter in July.

Image by NASA, ESA, and A. Simon/Wikimedia Commons.

Our solar system's largest resident will get a new visitor on July 4 with the arrival of NASA's Juno orbiter. Over the next two years, Juno will orbit Jupiter 37 times, collecting information about the planet's atmosphere, magnetosphere, and water content. You can learn more about the mission here.

6. Watch the world's most famous meteor shower in August.

Image by Tucker Hammerstrom/Flickr.

On Aug. 11-12, grab a friend, a blanket, and a bottle of wine and settle in for a late night sky spectacle courtesy of the Perseid meteor shower. Made of dusty bits from comet Swift-Tuttle, Perseid meteors appear as fast-moving bright blue streaks across the night sky.

This year is shaping up to be a particularly great show — some astronomers predict as many as 150 meteors will be visible every hour. Plus, with the moon at only a quarter-full (and setting shortly after midnight for folks in the Northern Hemisphere), the sky will be very dark. As astronomers say: Less light in the sky, more meteors to catch your eye. OK, they don't really say that. But they should.

On Aug. 27, early evening skywatchers will be able check out Venus and Jupiter in conjunction. It's the closest the two bright planets will be visible all year.

7. See an IRL "Ring of Fire" in September's partial solar eclipse.

Looking directly at the "ring of fire" of a partial solar eclipse burns burns burns ... your retinas. Image by Masaru Kamikura/Flickr.

On Sept. 1, skywatchers across Africa will be treated to an annular (or partial) solar eclipse. In this type of eclipse, the moon partially passes between the sun and the Earth, creating what some astronomers call the "ring of fire."

The path of the eclipse crosses Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Madagascar, and the tiny island nation of Réunion. In the past, generous astronomers have live-streamed images of eclipses; hopefully someone will do the same this year.

8. The first of three supermoons will rise in October.

Image by Bureau of Land Management/Flickr.

Oct. 16 brings the first of the years' three supermoons. During a supermoon, the moon's orbit brings it closer to Earth, making it appear larger and brighter than usual. It's a great time to dust off your camera and test out some night shots — here are some tips from a veteran lunar photographer.

Oct. 30 will bring 2016's only black moon, also known as the second new moon in a calendar month. If it is a clear night, black moons are a great chance to look for deep sky objects like the Andromeda galaxy or the Orion nebula.

9. Round out 2016 with two meteor showers and two more supermoons.

Image by Joshua Tree National Park/Flickr.

Nov. 14 brings the second supermoon of 2016 and the closest full moon to Earth since 1990. You won't want to miss this one — it's the closest the moon will get to Earth until 2021.

Skywatchers in the northern hemisphere should bundle up warm on Nov. 17 to take in the Leonid meteor shower. These meteors are my favorite every year — they're usually large, yellowish-green, and slow moving as they streak across the sky. The moon will be pretty bright in the night sky, but you can still expect to see about 10-15 meteors per hour.

Dec. 12 is the last full moon of the year and 2016's final supermoon. For astronomy fans, it'll be a mixed blessing since the bright light of the supermoon will blot out some of the Geminid meteor shower two days later. At its peak around 2:00 a.m. local time Dec. 13, the Geminid meteor shower can bring up to 120 meteors an hour into our atmosphere. They burn fast, bold, and bright — not great for photography, but perfect for wishes.

Happy skywatching!