Apollo 16 moonwalker reflects on missions 50th anniversary

Charlie Duke becomes part of a small fraternity thats getting back at smaller sized: People who strolled on the moonBy JAY REEVES Associated PressApril 21, 2022, 3:55 PM – 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleHUNTSVILLE, Ala.– Charlie Duke belongs to a small fraternity thats getting even smaller: People who strolled on the moon.Duke, 86, visited his Apollo 16 spaceship on Wednesday at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center to mark the 50th anniversary of his one and just trip to the lunar surface. Just 4 of the 12 U.S. astronauts who walked on the moon are still alive, and Duke stays busy with speaking engagements.Duke stated he still has vibrant memories from the journey, which was the next-to-last U.S. mission to arrive at the moon. His face illuminated throughout an interview recalling his initial thoughts upon stepping off the lunar lander on to the dusty surface.” I imply, Im on the moon! I cant think it. Even today its an interesting thought,” the North Carolina native said.The late John Young was initially out of the lander and strolled on the moon with Duke, while Ken Mattingly orbited the moon in the command module, nicknamed “Casper.” Duke said after Apollo ended, the U.S. concentrated on the area shuttle program, the space station and remote missions into deep space, and he doesnt hold it versus NASA for stopping working to go back to the moon. He is looking forward to NASAs upcoming flight to the moon with its new Space Launch System rocket thats at the core of the Artemis program.The first of the big rockets is supposed to blast off for a trip to the moon without crew later on this year, and Duke hopes he can participate in the first flight with a crew within a few years.” The moon was really a beautiful environment. Desolate, however yet it had beauty about it,” he stated. “The different contrasts, the mountains that we saw. The blackness of space on the surface of the moon and tones of gray. It just was really fascinating.”

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