This year we have lost two former NASA astronauts who landed on the moon. John Young died in January 2018 and Alan Bean died in May 2018. I just asked myself, who are the survivors of the Apollo moon landings? Her comes the answer:
1. Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11 was the first man to walk on the moon. He landed on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. On July 21, 1969, 2:56 UTC, he set foot on the moon for the first time and said: „That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.“ He died August 25, 2012 at the age of 82.
2. Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, landed with Apollo 11 on the lunar surface together with commander Neil Armstrong. He is the second man who stepped on the moon and is alive at the age of 88.
Buzz Aldrin is the co-writer of several books, e.g.:
- Armstrong, Neil; Michael Collins; Edwin E. Aldrin; Gene Farmer; and Dora Jane Hamblin. 1970. First on the Moon: A Voyage with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. Boston: Little, Brown.
- Aldrin, Buzz and Wayne Warga. 1973. Return to Earth. New York, Random House.
- Aldrin, Buzz and Malcolm McConnell. 1989. Men from Earth. New York: Bantam Books.
- Aldrin, Buzz and John Barnes. 1996. Encounter with Tiber. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1996.
- Aldrin, Buzz and John Barnes. 2000. The Return. New York: Forge.
- Aldrin, Buzz and Wendell Minor. 2005. Reaching for the Moon. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.
- Aldrin, Buzz and Ken Abraham. 2009. Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon. New York: Harmony Books.
- Aldrin, Buzz and Wendell Minor. 2009. Look to the Stars. Camberwell, Vic.: Puffin Books.
- Aldrin, Buzz. 2013. Mission to Mars. Washington, D.C.: The National Geographic Society.
- Aldrin, Buzz and Marianne Dyson. 2015. Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Children’s Books.
3. Charles (Pete) Conrad was commander of Apollo 12. He landed on the moon in November 19, 1969 and was the third person to walk on the moon. He died July 8, 1999 following a motorcycle accident at the age of 69.
4. Alan Bean, also Apollo 12 died May 26, 2018 at age of 86.
Alan Bean was writing and co-writing some books:
- My Life As An Astronaut (1989)
- Apollo: An Eyewitness Account (with Andrew Chaikin) (1998)
- Into the Sunlit Splendor: The Aviation Art of William S. Phillips (with Ann Cooper, Charles S. Cooper and Wilson Hurley) (2005)
- Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon (with Andrew Chaikin) (2009)
- Painting Apollo: First Artist on Another World (2009)
From 1981 on he became a painter and had several exhibitions over the time. He proclaimed: „But I’m the only one who can paint the moon, because I’m the only one who knows whether that’s right or not.“
5. Alan Shepard was commander of Apollo 14 and landed on the moon February 5, 1971. He died July 21, 1998 of leukemia, aged 74.
6. Edgar Mitchell was lunar module pilot of Apollo 14 and the 6th human being on the moon. He died February 4, 2016 at the age of 85.
Edgar Mitchell was writing and co-writing some books, also very interesting books about mysticism and paranormal phenomena:
- Psychic Exploration: A Challenge for Science (1974), G. Putnam & Sons
- The Way of the Explorer: An Apollo Astronaut’s Journey Through the Material and Mystical Worlds (1996), G. Putnam & Sons
- Earthrise: My Adventures as an Apollo 14 Astronaut (2014), Chicago Review Press,
7. David Scott was commander of Apollo 15 and landed on the moon July 30, 1971. He is a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force of age 85.
David Scott co-wrote a book about the space race together with the famous former soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov (84) as another co-author in 2006: „Two Sides of the Moon: Our Story of the Cold War Space Race“
8. James (Jim) Irwin was lunar module pilot of Apollo 15. He died August 8, 1991 at the age of 61 of a heart attack. He was the first and youngest of the 12 men on the moon who died.
James Irwin was very religious and he had co-written several books with spiritual topics:
- To Rule the Night: The Discovery Voyage of Astronaut Jim Irwin (with William A. Emerson, Jr., 1973)
- More Than an Ark on Ararat: Spiritual Lessons Learned While Searching for Noah’s Ark (with Monte Unger, 1985)
- Destination: Moon (1989)
James Irwin also wrote a book by himself 1983 about Christian life and philosophy against the background of space exploration and Moon landings: „More than Earthlings“
9. John Young was commander of Apollo 16 and landed on the moon on April 21, 1972. He died January 5, 2018 at the age of 87.
10. Charles (Charlie) Duke was lunar module pilot of Apollo 16. He is alive and 82 years old.
Charlie Duke wrote an autobiography together with his wife Dotty Duke in 1990: „Moonwalker“ where he outlined his personal views about life and relationships.
11. Eugene (Gene) Cernan was commander of the Apollo 17 landing on December 11, 1972. He died on January 16, 2017 at the age of 82.
After Apollo 17’s science astronaut Schmitt had entered the lunar landing module again, Eugene Cernan was the last person ever who walked on the moon. He therefor co-authored a book with the title „The last man on the Moon“, where he wrote „…but I can never return to my Valley of Taurus-Littrow, and that cold fact has left me with a yearning restlessness…“
Since December 14, 1972 no human being has set foot on the moon. There was no return.
12. Harrison Schmitt was lunar module pilot of Apollo 17. He was NASA’s first science astronaut without a military rank. Instead he received a Ph.D. in geology. He is alive and 82 years old.
Harrison Schmitt wrote a non-fiction book in 2006 about moon settlement: „Return to the Moon: Exploration, Enterprise, and Energy in the Human Settlement of Space“
Today on June 2, 2012 four of the twelve man who ever reached the moon are still alive. These 4 man are the only living persons who ever walked on a distant celestial body during the complete history of mankind.
During 5778 years of written history, mankind reached it’s cultural climax in the 1960th that ended up with 6 landings on the moon between 1969 and 1972. Since 1972 mankind is degenerating with an observable increasing acceleration. Populists, religious fundamentalists and far right extremists are returning and taking over the parliaments and the highest political positions. Observation of citizens, control and authorities power are increasing. Freedom, civil rights, political diversity are decreasing. We are witnessing how our democracy is dying away. We are by far not able to manage moon flights today. It is for the same reason why former Soviet autocrats could not achieve a Moon landing during the space race.
Colonel Aldrin (88), Colonel Scott (85), General Duke (82) and Dr. Schmitt (82) are the only surviving witnesses of the cultural and technological climax of mankind. When they are gone, new generations may not believe anymore that mankind can achieve almost any goal, when working as a team.
New generations will think, their boring and stupid Earth-bound life is the normal way of living: to create and destroy consumer products like clothes, furniture, electronic media, vehicles, toys, boats, bicycles, jewelry, real estate and suitable footwear in an absurd, useless and endless cycle of peace and war.
Nowadays, people are playing everywhere and continuously with a modern form of musical clocks, called computers. Therefor most of them are very narrow-minded, egocentric, geocentric, biological geocentric (consequent Darwinism), religious fundamentalists (e.g. some North American christians) or even flat-earthers.
Many naive people actually believe the moon landings were a hoax and were filmed in a secret Hollywood studio. Such an ignorance is only possible, if people are extremely uneducated and therefor know almost nothing about the culture, technology, philosophy of former decades and generations.
As a result of our new digital technology, that make manipulations of recorded facts not only possible but also easily accessible for the naive computer (smartphone) users, we are beginning to live in a dark age of preconception, distrust and superstition again. Let’s fight against this new Medievalism and luring tendencies to Anti-Humansim. Let’s support Science and rational behavior wherever we can, let’s fight for Aufklärung and Humanism.
Astronauts Aldrin, Scott, Duke and Schmitt, please hold out!