Vol.1, No.6

Men who have walked on the moon

Who were the 12 men who have walked on the moon and what did their missions entail.

A man walking on the moon
Photo Credit: NASA
The moon has long been a fascination among the humans who have lived on this earth. Once space exploration became the norm, the moon became one of the first goals. Over time, from the eleventh Apollo mission in 1969, a total of twelve men have walked on the moon.

As early as 1962, President John F. Kennedy promised the United States that within the decade, man would set foot on the moon. This promise was fulfilled with the mission of Apollo 11 which took place on July 20, 1969. The very first man to set foot on the moon was none other than Neil Armstrong. With his first steps onto the moon, he uttered the famous phrase, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Following closely behind him was Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin who became the second man to set foot on the moon. The footsteps of these two men are still preserved on the surface of the moon and will remain there for millions of years.

Later that year, on November 14th, the Apollo 12 put two more men on the surface of the moon. Charles (Pete) Conrad and Alan Bean were the next two astronauts on the moon. The main purpose of this mission was to prove that men could make an accurate landing on the moon's surface. They also had a rendezvous with the Surveyor 3, a robotic explorer placed on the moon in 1967. The two men spent 31 hours on the surface.

Two years later, on February 5, 1971, the Apollo 14 took Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell onto the surface. These two men spent their time collecting samples and deploying some more instruments. They spent a total of 33 ½ hours on the moon's surface. Shepard and Mitchell were the first two to use a hand cart to transport moon rocks.

Apollo 15 put two more men on the moon a few months later on July 30, 1971. James Irwin and David Scott spent nearly 67 hours on the surface this time. Their spacesuits were greatly improved allowing them to have more mobility and to remain on the surface for longer periods of time. They also used the first Lunar Roving Vehicle and used the first orbital sensors.

On April 21 through 23, 1972, the Apollo 16 placed both Charles Duke and John Young on the moon for a moon walk. These men stayed on the surface for 71 hours and traveled approximately 27 kilometers from their ship. They also had scientific instruments for orbital experiments and photography.

The last time man has been on the moon was during the flight of Apollo 17 and took place on December 11 through 13, 1972. Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan were the lucky men on this mission. Schmitt was the first actual scientist to set foot on the moon. These men spent a total of 75 hours on the moon taking pictures and collecting samples.

It has been quite some time since there was a man on the moon. The missions that did so provided NASA with great samples and more information on the moon than anyone could ever have imagined. NASA continues to put men up into space doing new and different things. Walking on the moon was once something that no one though possible. Now 12 men have done so and they continue to do more things that no one ever thought possible.