The generation of NASA astronauts traveling beyond Earth orbit has crossed the threshold of the 80th anniversary.
They inspired the world to conquer space. But of the 12 members of the Apollo team left six people.
The last astronaut who set foot on the lunar surface from the Apollo 17 spacecraft, Gene Cernan, died on Monday.
However, Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, who accompanied Sernan in 1972, Buzz Aldrin (11), Alan Bean (12), David Scott (15), John Young and Charles Duke of Apollo 16, still live. All are now more than 80 years old.
“It turns out that while we are trying to study and master the solar system, the first generation of space researchers have long jumped over the retirement threshold,” writes the former shuttle program manager, Uyen Hale.
In general, 12 astronauts walked on our satellite during the six Apollo missions from July 1969 to December 1972. Each mission also included a pilot waiting in lunar orbit while two crew members examined the surface. Four of them are still alive: Michael Collins (11), Dick Gordon (12), Al Worden (15) and Ken Mattingly (16).
In addition to the six lunar landings, NASA made two flight predecessors on Apollo 8 (December 1968) and Apollo 10 (May 1969).
Another alleged landing of Apollo 13 turned into a forced overflight due to the explosion of an oxygen cylinder.
If to count, then from all population of our planet only 24 people left an orbit. 15 of them survived.
NASA hopes to send a crew around the moon during an Orion test flight in 2021.