If you are lucky enough to wander around the lunar surface, be sure to check out the Hadley-Apennines region, located in the southeast of the Sea of Rains. It was here that the crew members of the Apollo 15 mission landed, who decided to honor the memory of the deceased space explorers.
It all began with an acquaintance of astronaut David Scott and the Belgian sculptor Paul Van Heydonka. It is not known what they were talking about, but this conversation inspired Haydonk to create a small astronaut / cosmonaut figure that represented an important idea.
It was about the flight to the earth satellite (extreme conditions), so the figure should have been light, but at the same time durable. Aluminum was chosen as the material, and its height was only 8.5 cm. In addition, the author tried so that the figurine did not have a specific race and even gender.
In the implementation of the very idea, Heidonk and Scott diverged. The first one saw in the figure a display of all mankind and wanted it to stand on the surface. But Scott presented it as a tribute to the memory of dead astronauts and laid it face down. In addition, David Scott was an ardent opponent of the penetration of any type of commerce into space, so he did not disclose the name of the author of the sculpture, with which Haydonk did not argue. The Apollo 15 mission was the ninth manned mission to the moon, which departed in 1971. During the third moon walk, Scott installed a statuette of “Fallen Astronaut”, as well as a card with the names of those killed in 1964-1971. Later, Scott finds out that two more Soviet cosmonauts died in that period (Valentin Bondarenko and Grigory Nelyubov), but their names were kept secret by the USSR space program, so they were not included in the list.
The tablet includes the names of 8 American astronauts and 6 Soviet cosmonauts:
Theodore Freeman, Charles Bassett, Elliot Sy, Virgil Grissom, Roger Chaffee, Edward White, Vladimir Komarov, Edward Givens, Clifton Williams, Yuri Gagarin, Pavel Belyaev, George Dobrovolsky, Victor Patsayev, Vladislav Volkov.