A Trip to the Moon and the Role of Iceland in Apollo


A talk by Moonwalker and Geologist Harrison Schmitt
at Reykjavík
University – July 9, 2015 at 5.00 pm.
Hosted by The Exploration Museum.

The exposure of Apollo Astronauts to the geology of Iceland contributed greatly to their experience as they prepared for lunar exploration and sampling. All the lunar landing crews benefited from examination of the varied rock assemblages found in glacial outwash channels that resemble the complexities of the lunar surface debris layer.

In his talk, Harrison Schmitt tells us about his trip to the Moon, his scientific work on the lunar surface and the role that Iceland played in the training of the Apollo astronauts.

Harrison Schmitt has the diverse experience of a geologist, pilot, astronaut, administrator, businessman, writer, and U. S. Senator. He is a honorary fellow of the Geological Society of America.

At the end of his talk, Schmitt will be presented with the first annual Leif Erikson Exploration Award, by the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, on the occasion of Schmitt’s 80th birthday this week.

Learn more about the Training of Astronauts in Iceland.

Photo: Sævar Helgi Bragason

Apollo astronaut training in Iceland

Astronaut Bill Anders training in Iceland in 1967.
Astronaut Bill Anders training in Iceland in 1967.

In 1965 and 1967, two groups of Apollo astronauts traveled to Iceland to study geology. Among the astronauts in the 1967 group were Neil Armstrong and Bill Anders. Bill was on the crew of Apollo 8, the first flight to and around the Moon. Neil was the first man to walk on the Moon.

Learn more:
– Geology training of Apollo astronauts in Iceland
– 2015 re-visit of Apollo astronauts to Iceland