In the late 1990s, I had recently watched the rover TV camera videos of the Apollo 17 Moonwalks and was keeping myself busy on a cloudy night on Kitt Peak browsing my favorite website in the Universe, the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal (ALSJ). I was looking over some images that I'd seen before but these were some poor quality images and they were taken near the end of the 3rd and final EVA of Apollo 17. These 4 images were the last 4 images taken during the Apollo program by an astronaut standing in the lunar soil. It suddenly occured to me that perhaps these poor quality images were taken of the hammer throw by Geologist Jack Schmitt that I had seen in the video. Looking closely at the 1st of the 4 images, I saw a small streak in the sky. The 2nd contained a small speck in the dark lunar sky and the third was similar to the 2nd but without the speck. The last image shows Jack Schmitt, standing there looking as if he'd just thrown his hammer. More detailed examination showed the streak to have the shape of the hammer, though blurred slightly by its motion. The speck in the 2nd image was the hammer end on. And by comparing the 2nd and 3rd images, I was able to spot dust being kicked up by the hammer as it landed and bounced on the Moon's surface. I then identified the hammer in images taken by the crew out their windows after they climbed into the Lunar Module and before they left the Lunar surface to head back home. I then documented my find in a webpage called "Where on the Moon is Jack Schmitt's Hammer?" Some time later, Eric Jones, the editor and creator of the ALSJ contacted me and asked if he could incorporate my webpage into the ALSJ and I of course agreed, thus joining an elite group of "Apollo Geeks" which Jones affectionately called the "Nailsoup group".
This painting is the third of three paintings which honor that moment on the Moon when the first and only professional Geologist to walk on the Moon during the Apollo program tossed his hammer out onto the Lunar surface in front of the LM, where it sits today, waiting for the first tourists to visit the site and admire that momento of mankinds first visits to another world. It shows the hammer resting in the Lunar soil\ as the Apollo 17 crew of Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt head back into Lunar orbit on their trip back home to planet Earth.
The painting was completed in October 2015. It is a 18 by 24 inch acrylic on canvas.
Last update: March 1, 2016