The Apollo Astronauts

Who hasn't seen the pictures of the men on the moon?

But if you didn't live at that time, then all you've probably ever seen is pictures of men in bulky space suits, with gold-plated visors over their helmets so you wouldn't even see their faces.

A while ago, and prompted by the SpaceNight program on Bavarian Television (available in most of Europe via Astra satellite), I started wondering what those men really looked like. Thanks to NASA, whose Kennedy Space Center web site contains a wealth of resources about all their space programs, I found some pictures and decided to assemble a web site that would for once show the faces of the men who went to the moon (and a few who almost went there).

All these pictures are publicity shots made for PR purposes prior to the flights. This quite obviously sets the tone for what you see here. Also bear in mind that most of the astronauts were Navy or Air Force soldiers, so you can expect a certain demeanor. Still, these publicity shots are so obviously unnatural that I find a great deal of the men's personalities shines through in their attempt to deal with this unfamiliar situation. I also chose to use the names by which they were known among themselves, not their full official names, and each entry contains the first words of the mission commander on the moon.

For more information about active, retired and deceased astronauts, download the NASA Astronaut Fact Book (PDF, 228 K). If you have further questions about astronauts, consider contacting NASA.
All pictures are copyright National Aeronautics and Space Administration, all links from this page go directly to the Apollo sites at NASA.

Update 16 December 2002:
The broken links, which were due to a redesign of the NASA web site, have been fixed and are now working again.
Update 28 November 2004:
The broken picture links, which were due to another redesign of the NASA web site, have been fixed.

Virgil I. ("Gus") Grissom
Gus Grissom (1926-1967)
Edward H. White II
Ed White (1930-1967)
Roger B. Chaffee
Roger Chaffee (1935-1967)

Apollo 1

Launch scheduled for February 21, 1967

During a pre-launch test for Apollo 1, astronauts Grissom, White and Chaffee died when a fire broke out in the cockpit of their spacecraft on January 27, 1967.

Command module: CSM-012
Lunar module: -

The backup crew were Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, and Walt Cunningham.

 
 
Walter M. Schirra, Jr.
Wally Schirra (1923-2007)
Donn F. Eisele
Donn Eisele (1930-1987)
R. Walter Cunningham
Walt Cunningham

Apollo 7

October 11-22, 1968

The first launch of an Apollo spacecraft into Earth orbit.

Command module: CSM-101
Lunar module: -

The backup crew were Tom Stafford, John Young, and Gene Cernan.

 
 
Frank Borman
Frank Borman
James A. Lovell, Jr.
Jim Lovell
William A. Anders
Bill Anders

Apollo 8

December 21-27, 1968

On Christmas Eve 1968, Apollo 8 was the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon.

Command module: CSM-103
Lunar module: -

The backup crew were Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Fred Haise.

 
 
James A. McDivitt
Jim McDivitt
David R. Scott
Dave Scott
Russell L. Schweickart
Rusty Schweickart

Apollo 9

March 3-13, 1969

Earth-orbit test of the Apollo comand and lunar modules including rendezvous maneuvers and a test of the new lunar space suit.

Command module: Gumdrop [CSM-104]
Lunar module: Spider [LM-3]

The backup crew were Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon, and Alan Bean.

 
 
Thomas P. Stafford
Tom Stafford
John W. Young
John Young
Eugene A. Cernan
Gene Cernan

Apollo 10

May 18-26, 1969

The dress rehearsal for the moon landing.

Command module: Charlie Brown [CSM-106]
Lunar module: Snoopy [LM-4]

The backup crew were Gordo Cooper, Donn Eisele, and Ed Mitchell.

 
 
Neil A. Armstrong
Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)
Michael Collins
Mike Collins
Edwin E. ("Buzz") Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin

Apollo 11

July 16-24, 1969

The first lunar landing.

Command module: Columbia [CSM-107]
Lunar module: Eagle [LM-5]

Neil Armstrong: "That's one small step for man - one giant leap for mankind."

The backup crew were Jim Lovell, Bill Anders, and Fred Haise.

 
 
Charles ("Pete") Conrad, Jr.
Pete Conrad (1930-1999)
Richard F. Gordon, Jr.
Dick Gordon
Alan L. Bean
Al Bean

Apollo 12

November 14-24, 1969

First pinpoint lunar landing.

Command module: Yankee Clipper [CM-108]
Lunar module: Intrepid [LM-4]

Pete Conrad: "Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but it's a long one for me." [Conrad was only 5'6" tall]

The backup crew were Dave Scott, Al Worden, and Jim Irwin.

 
 
James A. Lovell, Jr.
Jim Lovell
John L. Swigert, Jr.
Jack Swigert (1931-1982)
Fred W. Haise, Jr.
Fred Haise

Apollo 13

April 11-17, 1970

Apollo 13 ended in near disaster when oxygen tank 2 exploded 55 hours into the mission. Using the lunar module as a lifeboat, the three men were able to return safely to earth.

Command module: Odyssey [CM-109]
Lunar module: Aquarius [LM-7]

The backup crew were John Young, Jack Swigert, and Charlie Duke.
(Swigert replaced prime crew member Ken Mattingly)

 
 
Alan B. Shepard, Jr.
Al Shepard (1923-1998)
Stuart A. Roosa
Stu Roosa (1933-1994)
Edgar D. Mitchell
Ed Mitchell

Apollo 14

January 31-February 9, 1971

First successful mission devoted entirely to scientific exploration of the moon.

Command module: Kitty Hawk [CM-110]
Lunar module: Antares [LM-8]

Alan Shepard: "It's been a long way, but we're here."

The backup crew were Gene Cernan, Ron Evans, and Joe Engle.

 
 
David R. Scott
Dave Scott
Alfred M. Worden
Al Worden
James B. Irwin
Jim Irwin (1930-1991)

Apollo 15

July 26-August 7, 1971

The first extended scientific expedition, also the first to use the Lunar Rover Vehicle.

Command module: Endeavour [CM-112]
Lunar module: Falcon [LM-10]

Dave Scott: "Man must explore. And this is exploration at its greatest."

The backup crew were Dick Gordon, Vance Brand, and Jack Schmitt.

 
 
John W. Young
John Young
Thomas K. ("Ken") Mattingly II
Ken Mattingly
Charles M. Duke, Jr.
Charlie Duke

Apollo 16

April 16-27, 1972

The first exploration of the moon's central highlands.

Command module: Casper [CM-113]
Lunar module: Orion [LM-11]

John Young: "There you are, mysterious and unknown Descartes highland plains. Apollo 16 is gonna change your image. I'm sure glad they got ol' Brer Rabbit here, back in the briar patch where he belongs. "

The backup crew were Fred Haise, Stu Roosa, and Ed Mitchell.

 
 
Eugene A. Cernan
Gene Cernan
Ronald E. Evans
Ron Evans (1933-1990)
Harrison H. ("Jack") Schmitt
Jack Schmitt

Apollo 17

December 7-19, 1972

The last, and longest lunar mission. Cernan and Schmitt spent 3 days, 2 hours and 59 minutes on the moon.

Command module: America [CM-114]
Lunar module: Challenger [LM-12]

Gene Cernan: "As I step off at the surface at Taurus-Littrow, I'd like to dedicate the first step of Apollo 17 to all those who made it possible."

The backup crew were John Young, Stu Roosa, and Charlie Duke.

 
 
Thomas P. Stafford
Tom Stafford
Vance D. Brand
Vance Brand
Donald K. ("Deke") Slayton
Deke Slayton (1924-1993)

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

July 15-24, 1975

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was a joint operation of U.S. astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts docking in Earth orbit and performing scientific experiments.

Command module: CSM-111
Lunar module: -

The backup crew were Alan Bean, Ron Evans and Jack Lousma.

 

All pictures are copyright National Aeronautics and Space Administration, all links from this page go directly to the Apollo sites at NASA.


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Horst Prillinger, ©1999-2004     Last modified 28 November 2004

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