Apollo 16 NASA Astronaut Charles Duke Describes Walking on the Moon

By  //  March 24, 2019

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‘wonder, awe, excitement’

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(FOX NEWS) – Charles Duke watched from Mission Control in Houston when his fellow NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their historic Moon landing on July 20, 1969. Less than three years later he followed in their footsteps as the Apollo 16 lunar module pilot.

The module carrying Duke and Apollo 16 Commander John Young reached the lunar surface on April 20, 1972. At 36 years and 201 days old, Duke became the youngest person to walk on the Moon and the tenth to reach Earth’s natural satellite.

Duke had been the CapCom (capsule communicator) for Apollo 11, serving as the link between NASA flight controllers in Houston and Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins in the Apollo 11 spacecraft when they traveled to the Moon.

Finally seeing the lunar surface up close was incredible, Duke told Fox News, during a New York City event hosted by lens maker Zeiss on Friday.

Charles Duke, Apollo 16’s lunar module pilot, is photographed collecting lunar samples at Station No. 1, during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity (EVA), at the Descartes landing site. (NASA Image)

“In flight, you get the dynamics, you get the visual cues, you get the wonder of what you’re doing,” he said. “But, of course, actually stepping on and walking on the Moon was a lot more exciting than Mission Control because of the visuals, the visual stimulation that you get. Your ‘wonder, awe, excitement’ – all of these emotions and all just rolled into one.”

“Probably the most dynamic part of the mission was the landing,” he added. “You’re coming into an area that you have never seen before and there are a lot of features on the lunar surface that were visible, visually, when you came in, but we hadn’t seen in our photographs.”


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