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It is impossible not to be amazed by this corner of the moon. Corner, which in fact, is almost in the center. In this fantastic scenario, our poor Santos Dumont goes almost unnoticed because both the Apenninus Mons and the different Rimaes that meander through the landscape steal the first sight of any observer. Even so, we want to pay our tribute to one who was undoubtedly one of the greatest Brazilians and who fills us with pride.
Santos-Dumont is an impact crater with a circular shape, considered small, with its approximate 8 km in diameter and 2 km deep, easily found if we are guided by the eastern edge of the Mare Imbrium, located on a summit of the Apenninus Mountains, in the near center north of the Moon (selenographic coordinates of 27.7 ° N and 4.8 ° E). The crater is approximately 60 km away from where the Apollo 15 Mission landed in 1971 (in order, the fourth Mission to land on the lunar soil and the first to use a Lunar Rover to explore the Earth’s natural satellite ), the Falcon lunar module landed on the Moon with astronauts David Scott (1932) and James Irwin (1930 – 1991) in the Hadley-Apennines region, while astronaut Alfred Worden (1932 – 2020) remained in orbit around the Moon during the mission, lasting a total of 3 days of mission on the satellite.
Named in 1973 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), Santos-Dumont was the first lunar crater to be named after a Brazilian (with two more on the far side of the Moon, one of which is De Moraes) and the only one on the side visible. The tribute went to Alberto Santos-Dumont (1873 – 1932), aeronautical engineer and Brazilian inventor, known as “Father of Aviation” for being one of the precursors of the plane, he left his legacy, as he created the Balão Brasil (airship with a gasoline motor), the famous 14-Bis plane and the Demoiselle.
The Santos Dumont crater was initially known as Hadley B, before his last appointment, which was influenced by the first Brazilian aviator woman, Anésia Pinheiro Machado (1902 – 1999). An interesting fact about the naming of the crater is the date, July 20, 1973, the same day as Alberto Santos-Dumont’s centenary and also the birthday of his father, Henrique Dumont, in addition to being the same date on which he was 4 years old that astronaut Neil Alden Armstrong (1930 – 2012) stepped on the lunar soil for the first time, in 1969.
Look at this image!