By Geoff Brumfiel
Fifty years ago, astronaut Pete Conrad stepped out of the lunar module onto the surface of the moon.
His first words were: “Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.”
Conrad, who stood at just 5 feet 6 inches tall, was only the third human to set foot on the lunar surface. He did it on November 19, 1969, just four months after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first lunar landing. However, unlike Armstrong and Aldrin, Conrad and fellow astronaut Alan Bean are not household names.
Their mission, Apollo 12, remains largely unknown, according to Teasel Muir-Harmony, the curator of the Apollo Collection at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. And it’s a shame, because it was, frankly, a really fun trip, she says.
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