These are the 12 Brave Men Who Walked on the Moon

12 men who walked on the Moon
After Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the surface of the moon, eleven more astronauts followed him over the years, taking the total tally of men to have walked on the moon to 12. We will take a brief look at the careers of these extraordinary men who made their country proud because of their achievements.
There are only 12 people who have walked on the surface of the moon. These people, all men, and all from the United States of America, were part of NASA's Apollo program (1961 - 1975). Between the period of 1969 and 1972, NASA sent manned spacecrafts to the moon, thereby realizing the dream of President John F. Kennedy, who wanted 'landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth'.
Apollo astronauts
Given below is a brief description about the 12 men who will be remembered forever for being a part of one of the most ambitious endeavors of mankind.

(Note:
• 'Moonwalk' refers to the date on which these astronauts stepped out of their spaceships and walked on the moon for the first time.
• 'Time on moon' refers to the entire duration in which the astronauts were on the surface of the moon. It includes time spent inside the spacecraft, and on the surface of the moon.)
Neil armstrong
Space Flight - Apollo 11
Moonwalk - Jul 21, 1969
Time on Moon - 21h 31m 20s
"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong developed an interest in flying during his childhood, and earned his flight certificate at the age of fifteen. He joined the Purdue University to study aeronautical engineering at the age of seventeen. There, his studies were interrupted by the Korean War as he received a call-up to join the US Navy. After the war ended, Armstrong joined National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which later became NASA. It was in the year 1962 that Armstrong was selected for the astronaut program, and served as the command pilot for his first mission - Gemini VIII. Armstrong's biggest moment came in 1969, when he was chosen for NASA's first manned lunar mission, along with Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins. On July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon.

After returning from the moon mission, Armstrong became an international icon and was honored by various countries from around the world. He became a professor at the University of Cincinnati and remained there for eight years. He was also involved in public speaking, and served on the board of numerous corporations. He died on August 25, 2012 after complications of a bypass surgery he had undergone two weeks earlier.
Edwin Aldrin
Space Flight - Apollo 11
Moonwalk - Jul 21, 1969
Time on Moon - 21h 31m 20s
"I'd like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way." - Edwin Aldrin
Edwin Aldrin
Edwin Aldrin was interested in the flying from a very young age, as his father was a Colonel in the US Air Force. Aldrin graduated from the West Point Military Academy in New York, started his career as a jet fighter pilot with the US Air Force, and had the opportunity of serving in the Korean War. In 1963, Aldrin earned a Doctor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Aldrin was a part of the final Gemini mission in 1966. He was selected for the Apollo 11 mission, and became the second human to set foot on moon on 21st July, 1969.

After his retirement, he battled depression and alcoholism - issues he has mentioned eloquently in his autobiographies. He was in the news in 2002 when he punched conspiracy theorist Bart Sibrel, who pestered him to swear on the Bible that the moon landings were not faked. Currently, Aldrin works to promote space exploration in America.
Pete Conrad
Space Flight - Apollo 12
Moonwalk - Nov 19, 1969
Time on Moon - 31h 31m 12s

"I fully expect that NASA will send me back to the moon as they treated Sen. Glenn, and if they don't do otherwise, why, then I'll have to do it myself." - Pete Conrad
During his childhood, Pete suffered from dyslexia, due to which he faced issues in his studies. He failed in the 11th grade, resulting into his expulsion from school. After his expulsion, Pete joined Darrow School, where he performed so well that he won a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) scholarship.

Before joining NASA, Pete was a fighter pilot with the Navy and served as a flight instructor. He was invited to be a part of NASA, but he was so frustrated with what he considered 'invasive tests', that he decided to walk out of the program. It was on the persuasion of Alan Shepard, who was also a naval aviator, that Pete decided to apply again for NASA. He was one of the best fighter pilots of his group, and was made the pilot of Gemini 5. He was also associated with Gemini 8 and Gemini 11 as a commander. Later, he was chosen as the commander of Apollo 12, and landed on moon on Nov 19, 1969.

After his retirement, he worked for American Television and Communications Company, and McDonnell Douglas. Conrad died of internal bleeding caused due a motorcycle accident on July 8, 1999.
Alan Bean
Space Flight - Apollo 12
Moonwalk - Nov 19, 1969
Time on Moon - 31h 31m 12s

"We knew it was going to be difficult to get to the moon. We didn't know how difficult." - Alan Bean
Alan Bean was born in Texas and has a degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas. Alan Bean attended the US Naval Test Pilot School, where he trained under Pete Conrad, who later became his commander on Apollo 12 - the second manned lunar mission on the moon. Bean became a part of NASA in 1963, when he was selected for the Astronaut Group 3. After Clifton Williams died in an air crash, Bean took his place, and became a part of the Apollo 9 program.

Alan Bean was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, and became the fourth person to set foot on moon as he followed his commander Pete Conrad. After Apollo 12, he was a part of the Skylab Mission III, and has a record flight of 24,400,000 miles. He later became the backup spacecraft commander of a joint US-Russian space mission.

Alan is an avid painter and resigned from NASA in 1981 to take up painting full-time. One of the highlights of his art is that he sprinkles moon dust on the paintings that he makes.
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Alan Shepard
Space Flight - Apollo 14
Moonwalk - Feb 5 , 1971
Time on Moon - 1d 9h 30m 29s

"It's a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one's safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract." - Alan Shepard
Alan Shepard was born in Derry, New Hampshire, and it is where he took his first flying lessons from a local. After graduating from the Admiral Farragut Academy, Shepard started his career from the United States Naval Academy. After an illustrious career as a naval aviator, Shepard, along with 110 other volunteers, was invited for America's first manned space mission. He was chosen to be the pilot of Freedom 7 mission, and became the first American, and second person (after Russia's Yuri Gagarin) to travel into space. For achieving this iconic feat, he was honored with NASA Distinguished Medal, which he received from John Kennedy. Shepard was diagnosed with Ménière's disease, which interrupted his further space travel. However, he underwent corrective surgery and was chosen as the commander of Apollo 14 - NASA's third manned lunar mission. He landed on the moon on the 5th of February, 1971.

After his retirement, Shepard served as the President of numerous corporations. Shepard died in California on July 21, 1988.
Edgar Mitchell
Space Flight - Apollo 14
Moonwalk - Feb 5, 1971
Time on Moon - 1d 9h 30m 29s

"We went to the Moon as technicians; we returned as humanitarians." - Edgar Mitchell
Edgar Mitchell was born in Hereford, Texas. In his childhood, he was involved with the Boy Scouts of America. After graduating from the Carnegie Institute of Technology with a degree in industrial management, Edgar joined the navy to train as a test pilot. Edgar has a Doctorate of Science in aeronautics from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was selected by NASA in 1966, and was later made the lunar module pilot of Apollo 14. He followed his commander Alan Shepard onto the moon, becoming the sixth person to do so. Edgar retired from NASA in 1972, and has been actively working to promote research into the areas of psychic events.

Edgar has repeatedly expressed his belief that UFOs belong to other planets. He believes that the US government is in possession of some 'recovered alien bodies', and is covering up this issue so that the truth doesn't come out.
David Scott
Space Flight - Apollo 15
Moonwalk - Jul 31, 1971
Time on Moon - 2d 18h 53s

"When I look at the moon I do not see a hostile, empty world. I see the radiant body where man has taken his first steps into a frontier that will never end." - David Scott
David Scott was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1932. He was a part of the Gemini 8 mission, along with Neil Armstrong in 1966. He was the spacecraft commander of Apollo 15, which was NASA's fourth manned lunar mission. Apollo 15 touched down on the surface of the moon on July 31, 1971. The earlier lunar missions had landed on a flat surface, but Apollo 15 landed in a mountainous region. David Scott was the first astronaut to drive on the surface of moon, using a Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV).

After returning to earth, Scott was embroiled in a controversy with NASA and the government, as it was revealed that he and his crew had taken 398 postage stamps along with them on the Apollo 15 mission and sold them to a German stamp dealer on return. As a result of this incident, Scott was denied the opportunity of becoming a part of any other flying mission.
James Irwin
Space Flight - Apollo 15
Moonwalk - Jul 31, 1971
Time on Moon - 2d 18h 53s

"As we got further and further away, it [the Earth] diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful you can imagine." - James Irwin
James Irwin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1930. He did his graduation in naval science from the United States Naval Academy. He went on to complete his Masters in Aeronautical and Instrumentation Engineering from the University of Michigan. Irwin was a distinguished pilot and received several awards for his work. Irwin joined NASA in 1966 as an astronaut support crew. He was selected as the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 15, and became the eighth person to walk on the moon.

Irwin was also involved in the postal stamps incident and 'grounded' by NASA. After leaving NASA in 1972, Irwin spent the rest of his life promoting the message of Jesus Christ. He died on August 8, 1991 after suffering a heart attack.
John Young
Space Flight - Apollo 16
Moonwalk - Apr 21, 1972
Time on Moon - 2d 23h 02m 13s

"NASA is not about the 'Adventure of Human Space Exploration'...We won't be doing it just to get out there in space - we'll be doing it because the things we learn out there will be making life better for a lot of people who won't be able to go." - John Young
John Young is one of the most prolific NASA astronauts, having spent four decades of his life with the organization. Upon his retirement in 2004, John had made six space flights, including two to the moon. Young completed his graduation from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He joined the United States Navy, and served in the Korean War. Young became a part of NASA in 1962 as a part of Astronaut Group 2. He was a part of the Gemini spaceflight, but was in the news for wrong reasons, as it was reported that he had taken a sandwich along with him to the flight. Although he was reprimanded for this act, he was given further opportunities, and traveled into space on the Apollo 10, along with Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan. Young was made the commander of Apollo 16, which landed on moon on April 16, 1972. He was the ninth person to set foot on the surface of the moon. He was also a part of the final manned lunar mission Apollo 17, and served in the capacity of backup commander. John continued to be a part of the spaceflights and was chosen as the commander of first space shuttle flight in 1981.

Young retired from NASA after serving for around 42 years. In 2012, he published an autobiography, Forever Young. He lives in Texas with his wife, Susy.
Charles Duke
Space Flight - Apollo 16
Moonwalk - Apr 21, 1972
Time on Moon - 2d 23h 02m 13s

"Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You've got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot." - Charles Duke
Charles Duke was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1935. He attended the United States Naval Academy, from where he received a Degree in Naval Science. He did his Masters from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After completing his education, Duke trained at the Spence Air Base and Webb Air Force Base. He joined NASA in 1966, and was a support crew for Apollo 10. He served as a capsule communicator on Apollo 11, which was the first manned lunar mission. After Apollo 11 touched down on the surface of the moon, a nervous Duke said the above words,

Duke was selected as the lunar module pilot of Apollo 16, and became the tenth person to walk on the moon. At 36 years of age, Charles was the youngest person to do a moonwalk. After his retirement, Charles has been actively involved in several business ventures. He is the current chairman of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation in Titusville, Florida.
Eugene Cernan
Space Flight - Apollo 17
Moonwalk - Dec 11, 1972
Time on Moon - 3d 02h 59m 40s
"Another hundred years may pass before we understand the true significance of Apollo. Lunar exploration was not the equivalent of an American pyramid, some idle monument to technology, but more of a Rosetta stone, a key to unlocking dreams as yet undreamed." - Eugene Cernan
Eugene Cernan
Eugene Cernan joined NASA in 1963 and was a part of the Gemini and Apollo missions. He has a Degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. Before joining NASA, he was a naval aviator, having trained at the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. In NASA, he was assigned the role of backup crew on Gemini 9, but after the prime crew died in a plane crash, the responsibility was given to Cernan and Thomas Stafford. Cernan was the commander of the final manned lunar mission - Apollo 17, and became the eleventh person to walk on the moon. He is more famous for being the last man on the moon as his crew mate Harrison Schmitt climbed onto the spacecraft before him.

After retiring from NASA and the navy, Cernan ventured into private business, and co-authored a book, The Last Man on the Moon. Cernan is an avid supporter of space exploration and has testified before the Congress about the future of American space program.
Harrison Schmitt
Space Flight - Apollo 17
Moonwalk - Dec 11, 1972
Time on Moon - 3d 02h 59m 40s

"It's like trying to describe what you feel when you're standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon or remembering your first love or the birth of your child. You have to be there to really know what it's like." - Harrison Schmitt
Harrison Jack Schmitt could have been described as the only civilian to walk on the moon, had Neil Armstrong not left the armed forces before becoming the first man to walk on the moon. Jack Schmitt was a geologist and trained with the US Geological Survey. Schmitt was originally scheduled to be a part of the Apollo 18 lunar mission, but when the program was canceled, the scientific community lobbied for him to be included in the Apollo 17 lunar mission. He was chosen as a lunar module pilot for Apollo 17, and landed on the moon on December 11.

After his retirement, he ran for the senate as a Republican and was elected as a senator from New Mexico. Currently, he lives in Silver City, New Mexico.
These were the 12 men who have walked on the moon. Each of these 12 men had the courage to take up the opportunity that was presented to them. They didn't want to go to the moon to achieve fame and stardom. They were just doing their job as astronauts of NASA. But the hysteria that followed when they successfully returned to earth was something that catapulted them into celebrities around the world.
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