Exploration of the Moon took place over a period of three years. In that time, six missions occurred that all involved explorers that went in pairs. Two astronauts would go down to the surface of the Moon in a lunar excursion module (also known as LEM), while a third crewmember orbited in a command service module (referred to as a CSM). The missions allowed scientists to gather a large amount of information about the Moon, which is mentioned in this article.
The Apollo 11 Mission (Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin)
Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin landed on the Moon during a mission that lasted from July 16 to 24, 1969.
Neil Armstrong was a participant in the United States Air Force Man in Space Soonest program. In 1962, he joined the NASA Astronaut Corps, where he participated in his first spaceflight in 1966 with the Gemini 8 mission. He served as command pilot for that mission , becoming one of the first civilians in the United States to fly in space. During this mission, he performed the first manned docking of two spacecraft , along with pilot David Scott.
His second and last flight into space was during the Apollo 11 moon landing mission, where he served as commander of the mission. After being an astronaut, Armstrong taught at a variety of universities and took seats on several astronomy-related boards of directors and committees.
Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin was also a pilot in the United States Air Force and mechanical engineer, in addition to being an astronaut for NASA. Aldrin was the Lunar Module pilot for the Apollo 11 flight , the first manned lunar landing in history. After Armstrong stepped onto the Moon, Aldrin became the second human to set foot.
The Apollo 12 Mission (Charles Conrad Jr. and Alan Bean)
Charles Conrad Jr. and Alan Bean landed on the Moon during a mission that lasted from November 14 to 24, 1969.
Charles Conrad Jr. also served as a naval officer and engineer, in addition to being an astronaut for NASA. He became the third person to walk on the Moon during the Apollo 12 mission. Before his landing on the Moon, he had set an eight-day space endurance record along with command pilot Gordon Cooper on the Gemini 5 mission. He also commanded the Apollo 11 mission and then went on to command the Skylab 2 mission, where he and his crew spent time repairing a great deal of launch damage to the Skylab space station.
After retiring from NASA, Conrad was an active man. However, on July 8, 1999, he ran off the road while motorcycling with friends. Six hours later, Conrad died from internal bleeding. It was less than three weeks before the celebrations were to take place for the 30th anniversary of the first moon landing.
Alan Bean was an engineer who was selected to become a NASA astronaut in 1963 as part of Astronaut Group 3. His first flight into space was made aboard Apollo 12, which was the second manned mission to land on the Moon. He was 37 years old at the time, and during the mission, he became the fourth human to walk on the Moon.
Before retiring, Bean made his second and final flight into space aboard Skylab 3 in 1973. This was the second manned mission to the Skylab space station. He worked for the United States Navy until 1975, and after retiring completely in 1981 , he indulged in an interest to paint. Bean is now well known in the astronomy and art community for his beautiful paintings depicting the ‘photographs they never took’ during his experience on the Moon.