In July this year, NASA’s STEM engagement account on Twitter celebrated the 50th-anniversary moon landing by posting this interesting puzzle :

OK! So, now let’s get down to solving this puzzle. And I have two ways of going about it – a visual method; and a purely algebraic method. Let’s start with the visual one!

**Method #1:**

Now, this image can be redrawn as (focus on row 2):

Further (focus on column 1):

Further (focus on column 2):

Thus, all of them were born in 1930!

And now let’s do it the algebra way!

**Method 2:**

**Let’s assume the values are:**

a is the value of the astronaut

m is the value of the moon

r is the value of the rocket

e is the value of the satellite

Now, let’s form the equation using the puzzle information:

a + m = 45

r x e = 14

a + r = 32

m x e = 40

Using the last equation:

m = 40/e

Putting this into the first equation:

a + 40/e = 45

a = 45-(40/e)

Putting this in the third equation:

45-(40/e) + r = 32

r = 32 – [ 45-(40/e)]

Putting this in the third equation:

{32 – [ 45-(40/e)]} x e = 14

32e – 45e + 40 = 14

45e – 32e = 40-14

13e = 26

e = 2

Therefore,

m = 40/e = 40/2 = 20

a = 45 – m = 45 – 20 = 25

Therefore,

(a x e) – m = (25 x 2) – 20 = 50-20 = 30

So, 1930 is the answer!

**Which method did you find to be more interesting? Do let us know in the comment section!**

At Cuemath, we teach children to think about more than one way of solving math problems. Also, a Cuemath student gains an advantage in competitive exams as they are trained to use visual problem-solving methods, which yield results in a much shorter period of time.

Algebra way! But visual one is good to have too! 🙂