Hackers Leave Lunar Lander on Dome

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Hackers placed a half-scale model of the Apollo 11 “Eagle” Lunar Module on top of the Great Dome on May 17, in advance of the 40th Anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.
Eric D. Schmiedl—The Tech

Hackers Leave Lunar Lander on Dome

A scale model of the Apollo Lunar Module that carried astronauts to the surface of the moon appeared on the surface of the Great Dome in the early morning of Sunday, May 17. (How early? Just before sunrise, hackers were visible walking on the dome.)

After Facilities staff removed the lander, hackers bequeathed it to the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics as a prop for events celebrating the upcoming 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, said David M. Barber, MIT’s hack-removal czar.

The donation came after Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. ScD ’63 saw the hack and mentioned to the department that he liked it, Barber said.

Barber said he didn’t know of any other hacks that had ever been given to an MIT department. Many are donated to the MIT Museum.

Aldrin will appear at Symphony Hall on June 11 in a concert where the Boston Pops will perform Gustav Holst’s “The Planets.”

The lander is the first hack to appear on the top of the Great Dome since November 2006. It was removed midday Tuesday, May 19, two days after it appeared.

—Michael McGraw-Herdeg