Men on the Moon

By | Dec 11, 2010

On May 25, 1961 in a speech to the joint Congress, John F. Kennedy uttered these words, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” At the time that he spoke these words the total time in space by an American was about 15 minutes.

The Space Mission program that placed a man on the moon was called Apollo. It was the third program following Mercury and Gemini. In total there were 29 astronauts who flew an Apollo mission with 24 of these arriving at the moon.

Apollo 1 ended tragically with the death of three men; Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee when the command module on top a Saturn IB rocket was destroyed by fire during a test and training exercise on January 27, 1967. These were the first Americans who lost their lives in the Space Program.

Five men rode in Apollo missions that never left Earth orbit. On Apollo 7 (the first Apollo mission to launch) were Wally Schirra, Donn Eiseke and Walter Cunningham. On Apollo 9 (the 1st Apollo Mission to test the Luna Lander) were James McDivitt and Rusty Schweickart. David Scott was also on Apollo 9, but he walked on the moon on Apollo 15

Twelve Men have gone to the moon, but did not land. They are; Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, William Anders, Tom Stafford who were on missions to only orbit the moon. Lovell along with Jack Swigert and Fred Haise flew around the moon on Apollo 13. Michael Collins, Dick Gordon, Stuart Roosa, Al Worden, Ken Mattingly and Ronald Evans orbited the moon in the Command Module as the other two on their missions landed on the moon.

The first man to take a step on the Moon was Neal Armstrong. He, along with Buzz Aldrin were the first men on the moon on July 20, 1969. The last man to step on the moon was Harrison Schmidt, who along with Eugene Curan went to the moon in December 11-14, 1972 on the Apollo 17 Mission. In total 12 men have walked on the moon. The others were; Pete Conrad, Alan Bean, Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, David Scott, James Irvin, John W. Young, and Charles Duke.


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