# How Much Farther Did the Ball Travel on the Moon Than It Would Have on Earth?

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. In doing so, he also accomplished something else: he hit a golf ball farther than anyone had ever done before. The question is, how much farther did the ball travel on the moon than it would have on Earth?

In order to answer this question, we need to understand a bit about how golf balls behave when they are hit. When a golf ball is struck by a club, it compresss slightly and then rebounds off of the club face. This rebound gives the ball its forward momentum.

The amount of compression and rebound is affected by the hardness of the surface that the ball hits. Softer surfaces will compress more and rebound less than harder surfaces. The surface of the moon is much harder than that of Earth.

This means that when Armstrong hit his golf ball on the moon, it compressed less and rebounded more than it would have if he had hit it on Earth. As a result, his golf ball traveled further on the moon than it would have on Earth.

On Earth, the ball would have stopped after travelling a few meters. On the Moon, it could have gone for kilometers! The reason is that there is no atmosphere on the Moon to create friction and slow down the ball.

Credit: astronomy.com

## How Far Did the Golf Ball Travel on the Moon?

The moon’s surface is very different from that of Earth. It is covered in a deep layer of dust, called regolith, which is incredibly fine and powdery. This means that when a golf ball is hit on the moon, it doesn’t travel nearly as far as it would on Earth.

In fact, the longest recorded golf shot on the moon only traveled about 400 feet (120 meters). That’s just over one-tenth of the distance of the longest drive ever recorded on Earth! So if you’re planning a lunar golf game, be prepared for some short shots.

### Can You Hit a Golf Ball from the Moon to the Earth?

Assuming you mean with a club, then no. The moon’s atmosphere is far too thin to offer any resistance to a golf ball, so it would just keep going until it eventually left the moon’s gravitational pull and floated off into space. Even if there was air on the moon, you wouldn’t be able to hit the ball hard enough.

The Apollo astronauts didn’t even try; they just used their clubs as walking sticks.

### Are the Golf Balls Still on the Moon?

It’s been over 50 years since the first golf balls were hit on the moon, and there’s no telling if they’re still there. The original Apollo 11 mission didn’t include retrieving the golf balls, so unless future missions to the moon retrieve them, we may never know for sure. The golf balls were part of a brief experiment conducted by astronaut Alan Shepard during the Apollo 14 mission in February 1971.

Shepard hit two golf balls with a makeshift six-iron on the lunar surface. The first ball traveled an estimated distance of 200-yards; the second one went even farther. Since there is no atmosphere on the moon, there was no wind resistance to slow down the golf balls.

They likely landed in craters or other depressions and are probably covered in dust by now. If anyone ever finds them, they’ll be quite a souvenir!

### Who Hit the First Golf Ball on the Moon?

In 1969, astronaut Alan Shepard hit the first golf ball on the moon. It is believed that he used a six-iron club to hit the ball. The ball traveled for about two minutes before landing.

### On the Apollo 14 Mission to the Moon

The Apollo 14 mission was the third manned mission to land on the Moon and return safely to Earth. It was also the first time that humans had walked on the lunar surface in six years, since the end of the Apollo 13 mission. The primary goals of Apollo 14 were to collect lunar samples for scientific study, to conduct experiments on the lunar surface, and to photograph potential landing sites for future missions.

The Apollo 14 crew consisted of commander Alan Shepard, Command Module pilot Edgar Mitchell, and Lunar Module pilot Stuart Roosa. Shepard and Mitchell would remain in orbit around the Moon while Roosa descended to the lunar surface with the Lunar Module Antares. Once on the surface, Roosa would deploy a television camera and collect rock and soil samples while Shepard and Mitchell conducted experiments from orbit.

After completing their work on the surface, Roosa would lift off from the Moon in Antares and rendezvous with Shepard and Mitchell in orbit. The three astronauts would then return to Earth in their Command Module Kitty Hawk. The Apollo 14 mission was successfully completed with all objectives accomplished.

A total of 96 pounds (43 kilograms) of lunar rocks and soil were collected during the mission, along with over 5200 photographs. These samples and data have helped scientists better understand our moon’s history and composition.

## Conclusion

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. As he took his first step, he famously said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” But how far did that first step really take him?

After all, the moon has only 1/6th the gravity of Earth. Turns out, not very far at all. In fact, the ball traveled a measly 2.5 centimeters (about an inch).

On Earth, it would have easily gone 10 times that distance! So why did it seem like such a big deal? Well, because it was.

The Apollo 11 mission was an incredible achievement and demonstrated just how far humans can push themselves when they set their minds to it. We may never again walk on the moon but that doesn’t mean we’ll stop reaching for the stars.