A film about Neil Armstrong titled “First Man” is in theaters. Today, we look at all the men who walked on the moon and NASA’s next lunar mission.
WALKING ON THE MOON
JULY 16-24, 1969: The veteran of a near-disastrous Gemini 8 mission, Neil Armstrong kept his cool despite repeated computer program alarms and a guidance system that tried to land in a field of boulders. Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins stayed in orbit around the moon and is one of 24 people to have flown to the moon.
NOV. 14-24, 1969: The liftoff was during stormy weather and several lightning strikes knocked out power in the command module. Pete Conrad's pinpoint landing meant he and Alan Bean could easily walk 200 yards to the Surveyor 3 probe that had landed 21/2 years before.
Jan. 31-Feb. 9, 1971: After the Apollo 13 mission had to be aborted, but safely returned to Earth, the Apollo 14 mission was delayed four months. Alan Shepard was the oldest U.S. astronaut (48) when he commanded the mission. The astronauts used a handcart to carry their tools.
July 26-Aug. 7, 1971: The first mission to stay three days on the lunar surface and the first to use the lunar rover, an electric-powered, four-wheel-drive car. The astronauts also brought back the more rock samples including the “Genesis Rock” believed to be more than 4 billion years old.
April 20, 1972: First to explore the rugged Descartes Highlands area of the moon to examine structures suspected to be volcanic in origin. Astronauts also deployed the first cosmic ray detector; took detailed ultraviolet pictures of Earth and space and released a small satellite.
Dec. 7-19, 1972: Harrison became the first professional scientist to fly in space and the only geologist to walk on the moon. The mission featured the longest moon landing, longest total extravehicular activities (moonwalks), largest lunar sample, and longest time in lunar orbit.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the creation of NASA. The agency formed on July 29, 1958, has trained hundreds of astronauts. The term “astronaut” is derived from Greek and means “space sailor.” There have only been 12 individuals to sail through space, leave their ship and walk on the moon. Here's a breakdown of the moon walkers during the Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972.
6. Edgar Mitchell 1930-2016 Carnegie Mellon UniversityU.S. Navy pilotHis expertise helped guide the Apollo 13 astronauts back to Earth.Founded a parapsychological institute after leaving the Navy in 1972.
10. Charles M. Duke Jr. 1935U.S. Naval Academy, MITU.S. Air Force pilot Would have been on Apollo 13 but contracted measles. Retired from the Air Force in 1986 as a one-star general.
8. James B. Irwin 1930-1991 U.S. Naval Academy, University of Michigan U.S. Air Force pilot Retired in 1972 and founded the High Flight Foundation, a Christian goodwill organization.
12. Harrison Schmit 1935Caltech, Harvard Geologist Trained as a U.S. Air Force pilot One term in U.S. Senate ('76-'82) for New Mexico Has been a critic of global warming theories.
11. Eugene Cernan 1934-2017 Purdue University U.S. Navy pilot Cernan holds the lunar rover speed record of 11.2 mph. After NASA, he became a business man and ABC News contributor.
5. Alan B. Shepard Jr. 1923-1998 U.S. Naval AcademyU.S. Navy pilot Became the first American in space in 1961. Fifth to walk on the moon. Hit two golf balls on the moon using a makeshift club.
9. John W. Young 1930-2018 Georgia Institute of Technology U.S. Navy pilot Took a roast beef sandwich on a Gemini series flight. After the Apollo program, he piloted two Space Shuttle missions.
4. Alan L. Bean 1932University of TexasU.S. Navy pilot Part of Apollo and Skylab missions. Retired to become a painter.
7. David R. Scott 1932University of Michigan, MIT U.S. Air Force pilot Became the first person to drive on the moon. Piloted Apollo 9 and was commander of Apollo 15.
2. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin 1930West Point, MIT U.S. Air Force fighter pilot lunar module pilot Had Communion after he landed on the moon.
1. Neil Armstrong 1930-2012 Purdue University, USCU.S. Navy fighter pilot Commander on Gemini and Apollo missions First man to walk on the moon.
1930-1999 Princeton U.S. Navy pilot Was part of Gemini, Apollo and Skylab missions. 3. Charles “Pete” Conrad