Switzerland issues coin celebrating lunar connection
- Published: May 20, 2019, 4 AM
Switzerland is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing with a collector coin marking a connection between the United States and the Alpine nation.
The 2019 Apollo 11 .835 fine silver 20-franc coin highlights a solar wind sail sent on the mission by the University of Bern, the only non-American experiment on board the Apollo 11.
Even before astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin hoisted the American flag on the moon almost 50 years ago, he first hung a Swiss solar sail.
The “Solar Wind Composition Experiment” was developed by the Bern physicists under the leadership of Professor Johannes Geiss of the Institute of Physics to verify the existence of the solar wind that was suspected at the time but could not be measured from earth.
The sail was made of a specially coated aluminium foil, which was oriented as directly as possible into the sun to capture any solar wind transmitted.
The foil was then analyzed in the laboratory after returning from the moon.
The simple, lightweight and successful experiment was repeated on all lunar missions except the last mission, Apollo 17, and the failed Apollo 13 mission.
The 20-franc silver coin was designed by Swissmint engraver Remo Mascherini.
The coin weighs 20 grams and measures 33 millimeters in diameter.
Uncirculated and Proof versions are available in various packaging, with varied mintage limits and at different issue prices.
To order, visit the Swissmint website.
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