Apollo 16 Moonwalker looks back on the 50th anniversary of the mission

Huntsville, Alabama (AP) —Charlie Duke is part of a smaller fraternity. People who walked on the moon.

86-year-old Duke visits him Apollo 16 spacecraft On Wednesday, at the US Space Rocket Center, he commemorated the 50th anniversary of his only trip to the Moon. Only four of the twelve US astronauts who walked on the moon are still alive, and Duke remains busy with promises to speak.

Duke said he still has vivid memories of his journey, which was the penultimate US mission to land on the moon. His face brightened during his interview, reminding him of his first thoughts when he landed the moon lander on a dusty surface.

“That is,’I’m on the moon!’ I can’t believe it. It’s still an exciting idea today,” he said.

The late John Young first left the lander and walked on the moon with Duke, while Ken Mattingly orbited the moon with a command module called “Casper.”

Duke says the United States focused on the Space Shuttle program, space stations, and remote missions to deep space after Apollo was over, and he wouldn’t hold it to NASA because he didn’t return to the Moon. rice field.But he looks forward to NASA’s flight to the new moon Space launch system The rocket that is the core of the Artemis program.

The first of the giant rockets is to explode for a trip to the Moon later this year without a crew, and Duke will attend the first flight with the crew within a few years. I hope I can do it.

“The moon was a really beautiful environment. It was desolate, but it still had beauty about it,” he said. Black and gray shades of space on the surface of the moon. It was very attractive. “