Houston, we have a problem

These might be the most memorable, if incorrect, words that were spoken during the Apollo years. Tom Hanks was the first to speak them, playing Jim Lovell in Apollo 13. But it was Lovell’s fellow astronaut on the Apollo 8 mission who’s quote has changed the world. Bill Anders, who took the famous Earthrise shot, now a pillar of today’s environmental movement, would like to say: “We came to explore the moon and what we discovered was the Earth”.

In keeping with astronauts being at the forefront of the green movement you can find them nailed to planes, London plane trees, that is.

American astronauts are commemorated along the western side of Kennington Road, some fifteen name tags could once be found up the half-mile stretch from the Imperial War Museum to Kennington Lane.

Some mystery surrounds the placement of the nameplates. The much-lamented Smoke magazine noted that the names had been present for at least 20 years, and that was 9 years ago.

Predictably conspiracy theories have speculated that the trees might have been planted with seeds brought back from the moon, completely dismissing the fact that these mighty specimens are well over 50 years old.

For the record, here are the 15 names, but alas not Lovell or Anders are commemorated on Kennington Road, maybe they once were as those nailed to trees are down from 17 at the time of the Smoke article.

Eugene A Cernan

John W Young

Neil A Armstrong

Edwin E Aldrin

Alan L Bean

Fred W Haise Jr

John L Swigert Jr

Stuart A Roosa

Alan B Shepherd

David R Scott

Edgar D Mitchell

Alfred M Worden

James B Irwin

Charles M Duke Jr

Frank Borman

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