Share this story...
Latest News

Documentary details how astronomer’s time at UA influenced first moon landing

PHOENIX — Sunday marks the 45th anniversary of ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Neil Armstrong’s historic walk on the moon — an achievement that had a bit of a local flavor to it.

According to, a new documentary has come to Tucson detailing how renowned astronomer Gerard Kuiper came to the University of Arizona to get a better understanding of the moon.

The documentary entitled ‘Desert Moon,’ which was produced by UA graduate Jason Davis and Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium operations manager Shipherd Reed, reveals how Kuiper used resources around the Southwest in an effort to help NASA map out the surface of the moon prior to the first human landing.

Kuiper’s work also eventually led to increased research funding from NASA, including the formation of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

‘Desert Moon’ can be viewed at the Flandrau Science Center in Tucson every Monday and Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Show Podcasts and Interviews

Reporter Stories