The six Apollo missions that landed on the moon from 1969 to 1972 brought back several hundred kilograms of rocks from the lunar surface. Scientists have been studying these moon rocks for decades to learn more about the geology, minerology, impact history, and magnetic environment of the moon. Some of these studies have produced interesting results, such as the one involving a big rock sample known as “Big Bertha”.
“Big Bertha” was the largest sample collected by the Apollo 14 astronauts that landed on the moon in 1971. It was recovered from the edge of a small impact crater called Cone, and weighed 9 kilograms. It was nicknamed “Big Bertha” after the famous large World War I German howitzer, because at that time it was the largest lunar rock ever recovered.
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A scientist analyzing the rock sample “Big Bertha”. Photo: NASA