Even though space is not as far and strange as before, the opportunity to become a space tourist is still too far reckon upon. Even the number of people visiting our closest satellite, the moon, can be counted on the fingers of only your body! To know them for sure, check the names of these 12 great personalities and their biographies.
- Neil Alden Armstrong
The first, the most famous and the inspiring leader. Armstrong was a pilot, engineer, and a veteran before coming to NASA in 1955. When Apollo 11 mission was designed, he was chosen as the best candidate for several reasons: he had leadership skills, necessary experience, and no egocentrism. And technically, he was the closest to the door due to the design of the lunar module. So, fate and personal talents worked together!
Precious moments of pure joy and excitement are filmed and available to everyone:
- Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin
Always the second man after Armstrong. Joined NASA only in 1963 and let the commander pass first during the mission. The overall situation led him to a clinical depression, but he was strong enough to recover. Now he is the author of numerous books about space programs and the first of the living astronauts. Even when it came to death, he was the second after Armstrong – but that’s surely not the reason to grieve.
- Charles “Pete” Conrad
After Apollo 11, NASA launched Apollo 12 mission, which provided Conrad with the opportunity to walk on the moon too. He was a skillful pilot and coped with a lightning storm on the way to the satellite. Unfortunately, his skills were not enough to make it on earth – he died in a motorcycle accident in 1999.
- Alan L. Bean
As he was a lunar module pilot on Apollo 12 mission, it was a matter of seconds to make the difference between the third and the fourth man to touch lunar surface. He transformed this experience into an artistic inspiration – you can easily check his feelings in numerous paintings of another world. As Aldrin, he is still alive.
- Alan Shepard
The most experienced man in this list. Long before his expedition to the moon, he was the first American launched into space in 1959. Only due to health problems he missed the previous missions. Finally, he joined was Apollo 14 and revealed his professionalism there. In particular, he made the most accurate lunar module landing, spent more than 9 hours on the surface, and even played some golf there! After retiring in the rank of Rear Admiral, he started a business and wrote a book. What a bright life of a great man!
- Edgar D. Mitchell
In the same mission with Shepard, Mitchell walked on the moon in 1971. After retiring, he dedicated his life to researching paranormal events, especially the link between UFOs and the visitors from other planets (not bad!). Nobody believed him. Traditionally, this lunar module pilot is still alive, while his commander has died.
- David Randolph Scott
Being selected with Armstrong in his previous missions, Scott reached the lunar surface only in 1971 (mission Apollo 15). However, his experience was unique – he was the first to land near mountains. With the newly invented Lunar Roving Vehicle, he spent 18 hours on the moon. He is still alive and best known because of trying to sell stamp covers to the moon (great business, go-getter!)
- James B. Irwin
He was a lunar module pilot – the only one in this list who have died. During his voyage on the moon, he collected many samples, but also found a heart trouble there. Unfortunately, he experienced several heart attacks after the mission, with the last and the fatal one in 1991.
- John Watts Young
With the unprecedented 42 years of service in NASA, Young was a member of 6 space missions in its three programs. In his glorious biography, walking on the moon is just a tiny event – not even worth mentioning.
- Charles M. Duke Jr.
For Young’s lunar module pilot, walking on the moon experience appeared after being a capcom during Apollo 11 and trainer of a backup crew for the Apollo 13 mission. Again a long way to the moon!
- Harrison “Jack” Schmitt
The commander of the last Apollo 17 mission, he was also the second civilian (after Neil Armstrong) to walk the lunar surface. He spent 3 days on the moon – driving the Lunar Roving Vehicle, collecting samples, doing measurements and experiments. Sounds like a lovely weekend!
- Eugene A. Cernan
He knew he is in the last expedition in the row of Apollo missions to the moon, but he never believed he was the last man to walk there for the decades afterward. After joining Schmitt, he launched an aerospace technology firm and wrote a book about being an astronaut.
So maybe, the world is waiting for you to be the thirteenth man on the moon?