Lava and Astronauts


 Pahoe'hoe lava

Gently flowing lava can form rope-like structures, and you can walk rather easy across this type of lava. The hawaiian expression, which has been adapted by scientists all over the world, is Pahoe'hoe.

 A'a lava

Quite different from above, lava can form a ragged surface when cooling down. This type is called A'a .

  Halema'uma'u Krater

It is not very scientific, but perhaps wise to make donations to the mighty goddess of volcanism in hawaiian mythology, Pele.You can see many of these donations at the rim of the Halema'uma'u crater in the Kilauea caldera. A bottle of Gordon's Dry Gin, for instance, will be fine as a gift.

During the Apollo missions to the moon, Hawai'i has been used as a geological training site for the astronauts. It is undocumented whether they made donations to Pele, but there are several photos that show them on Big Island.

 Training for Apollo mission

This picture from NASA's archives shows James E. Lovell and Fred W. Haise during their training in the Kilauea area. I think it is again the Halema'uma'u crater in the background. These two astronauts did not get to the moon, the story of their flight is well known and was subject of the movie "Apollo 13".

 Training for Apollo mission

The astronauts of Apollo 14 were more lucky with their flight. Alan B. Shepard, with his hand on the ground, had been the first American astronaut on a ballistic flight years ago.