Surprising thing of the day: There is wood on the moon. But there are also two wooden spacecraft in interplanetary space.

Oops.

blogs.scientificamerican.com/l

@readsteven OK, that was fascinating. I'd also never heard of the balsa wood spheres.

@tsturm New to me too! I love it, I think it's super clever in that 1950's "We have zero experience going to space, but tons of ambition" kind of way.

@readsteven

Hmmm...I can't find the wooden spheres listed among the scientific payload carried by the various Rangers in this document.

nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/beyond

@tsturm

@sohkamyung @tsturm It's more of a fairing to provide a cushioned landing for instruments, than a payload. Searching for 'balsa' returned a couple results.

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