What Did Other Astronauts Say as They Took Their First Steps on the Moon?

What Did Other Astronauts Say as They Took Their First Steps on the Moon?
AP Photo/NASA, Neil Armstrong, File
What Did Other Astronauts Say as They Took Their First Steps on the Moon?
AP Photo/NASA, Neil Armstrong, File
X
Story Stream
recent articles

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

We all know Neil Armstrong's famous first words as he took that pioneering step onto the surface of the Moon (or at least we think we do), but there were eleven other astronauts from five more Apollo missions who left their footprints in the lunar regolith. Surely they imparted some memorable words as well!

Apollo 15 Commander David Scott certainly endeavored to follow Armstrong's example.

"As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I sort of realize there's a fundamental truth to our nature," he said. "Man must explore. And this is exploration at its greatest."

John W. Young on the Moon during Apollo 16 mission. Charles M. Duke Jr. took this picture. The LM Orion is on the left. April 21, 1972

Weighty words escaped Apollo 16 Commander John W. Young, however, who was understandably overcome with boyish wonder upon placing his boots onto the lunar surface.

“Oh, is this ever neat, Charlie!” he exclaimed to Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke.

Watching Young, Duke uttered something a tad more meaningful.

"There you are, our mysterious and unknown Descartes. Highland Plains, Apollo 16 is gonna change your image. I’m glad they got old Br'er Rabbit, here, back in the briar patch where he belongs," Duke said, comparing Young to the trickster bunny from the classic children's stories.

A few years earlier, during Apollo 14, Alan Shepard kept his remarks brief.

"Al is on the surface. And it's been a long way, but we're here."

"Not bad for an old man," the Capsule Communicator said back in Houston. Shepard was 47 when he stepped onto the Moon, and remains the oldest person to ever do so.

Apollo 17 Commander Eugene Cernan, on his third and final spaceflight, fittingly expressed gratitude when he made his way down the steps of the Lunar Module.

“I’m on the footpad. And, Houston, as I step off at the surface at Taurus-Littow, I’d like to dedicate the first step of Apollo 17 to all those who made it possible. Jack, I’m out here. Oh, my golly. Unbelievable.”

Apologies to Neil Armstrong, but Apollo 12 Commander Pete Conrad may have spoken the greatest "first step" words onto the Moon. A man of infinite humor and short-stature, he told a joke.

"Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that's a long one for me."

Apollo 12 commander Charles "Pete" Conrad prepares to descend the ladder of the Lunar Module to become the third human to walk on the Moon. Apollo 12, the second manned lunar landing, landed on the Ocean of Storms, near the Surveyor III probe. (Apollo 12, AS12-46-6718)
Comment
Show comments Hide Comments

Related Articles