Many people dream about making a journey into space sometime, or setting foot on a celestial body. And despite the fascinating images and movie footages we are able to enjoy here on Earth, the wish remains to experience this sight for ourselves. The German scientist and astronaut Ulrich Walter, recently related that the view onto the Earth in weightlessness and the realization not to be the centre, would change the individual thinking in a profound way. »Up there« in space, he was always happy.
The wish to become an astronaut, however, is denied to most of us. Just like for the American astronomer and scientist Eugene Merle Shoemaker (1928–1997), who always dreamt of setting foot on the Moon, but was never able to realize this dream, due to medical issues. Thus, he dedicated himself throughout his life to the research of comets and asteroids and made a vast amount of valuable discoveries, together with his team – among others the comet »Shoemaker-Levy 9«, which was named after him. He was awarded many prizes for his work.
When Shoemaker died in 1997, NASA decided to grant his posthumous wish, to bring a small part of his ashes with the space probe Lunar Prospector to the Moon. A small capsule was used and the inside was engraved with a verse from »Romeo and Juliet« by William Shakespeare.
Consequently, Eugene Shoemaker is the only person, who found his final resting place on the Moon. May he rest in peace and may his soul move freely through space and time …