Rock 'n' Roll on the Ocean of Storms

Collecting a loaf-shaped rock

Painting Completed 2002
14 1/2 x 19 inches, Acrylic on Aircraft Plywood

Pete Conrad and I were 2 hours and 5 minutes into our second moonwalk and were approaching the south rim of Surveyor Crater when Houston asked us to take a short rest and to check our suits and backpacks. As we rested, Pete took interest in a loaf shaped rock and he wanted to pick it up, but realized that it was simply too big for his tongs. Kneeling down was the next option but our spacesuits would make it difficult and we would get our suits even dirtier.

As Pete stood looking longingly at the aforementioned rock, I looked longingly at a long strap on the bag attached to Pete's backpack. The bag would be used to carry the Surveyor TV camera and other assorted parts back to the lunar module for our return home. I said, "Pete, let me reach back here and grab this strap.... Okay, now go." I lowered and Pete reached, he called out, "Let me roll, a little bit over ... Atta boy...back up."

In just a few brief seconds we demonstrated the first Rock 'n' Roll anywhere other than planet Earth. It was a special moment in lunar history but was it a moment in music history? You can be the judge.

The NASA sample number of this special rock is 12051.

It's mainly olivine basalt. The weight is 1660 grams and it measures 16x11x7 centimeters. Since Pete, Dick and I brought it back from the Ocean of Storms, it resides in the Lunar Sample Laboratory Facilities, Houston, Texas, USA.

To give this painting a special authenticity, the painted moonrock Pete is reaching to pick up contains a real moonrock. It is a piece of the lunar meteorite LunLab 05, found in 2001 in Oman and is classified as an anorthositic crystalline melt breccia.