With the Artemis Program working to put the first woman and the next man on the Moon, we must turn our faces to the past. There are 12 astronauts who have gone to our natural satellite since Neil Armstrong did it in 1969, but only four survive.
They are true legends of space. People who, chosen from thousands, passed all the tests to achieve what for many was unattainable.
Buzz Aldrin, David Scott, Charles Duke, and Harrison Schmitt They are the four survivors who know what it is like to walk on the Moon. Of advanced age, they left their memories present so that their successors can be attentive to what they will find.
Buzz Aldrin (1930)
Neil Armstrong’s courageous companion on the Apollo 11 Mission, He became the second man to set foot on the Moon, on July 20, 1969.
Armstrong hailed from the United States Air Force (one of three astronauts to achieve the feat from that branch of the US Armed Forces), in addition to being the first astronaut with a doctorate degree (graduated from MIT).
The total duration of the walk was 2 hours and 31 minutes.
David Scott (1932)
On July 31, 1971, Scott led the Apollo 15 mission, and together with James Irwin he examined the lunar surface. He did it for 18 hours and 33 minutes.
On his mission, Scott performed on camera, dropping a hammer and a feather from each hand: both objects hit the ground at the same time.
With this he confirmed that, in the absence of atmosphere, there is no air resistance, so gravity acts the same on all bodies regardless of mass.
Charles Duke (1935)
On April 21, 1972, Duke accompanied John Young on the Apollo 16 Mission, remaining in the natural satellite for 20 hours and 14 minutes.
Like Aldrin and Scott, he came from the United States Air Force.
duke turned out to be the youngest astronaut to walk on the Moon, as he was 36 years and 201 days old at the time. He reached the rank of United States Brigadier General in the reserves.
Harrison Schmitt (1935)
He is the last person to walk on the surface of the Moon. He did it on December 11, 1972, accompanying Gene Cernan on the Apollo 17 Mission: his walk also lasted the longest, 22 hours and 2 minutes (they stayed until December 14).
After Cernan and Schmitt, NASA did not carry out any more manned missions to our satellite, as it focused on other parts of space. Until the Artemis Program came along.
Schmitt holds a Ph.D. in Geology from Harvard. Other curiosities: took the panoramic photo of Earth called “The Blue Marble”, and would be a senator for New Mexico from 1975 to 1982 (Republican party).