Brig. Gen. Charlie Duke, USAF (Ret), braced himself as Apollo 16 descended to the moon’s crater-covered surface in April 1972.
On edge after noticing strange vibrations in the command module engine, the crew was forced to pause their descent and circle the moon for several hours as they waited for guidance from Mission Control in Houston. Scientists back on Earth analyzed data — and finally permitted Apollo 16 to proceed toward the moon.
“Pete, 16 here,” said Duke, relaying a message from Apollo 16 to Donald “Pete” Peterson, the communicator at Mission Control. “Looking through the telescope at the Earth. It’s sure apparent that we live on a pretty planet. The colors are … more vivid than any of the photographs.”
Nearly 50 years later, Duke is part of a small — but growing — fellowship of military officers who have united the country through space exploration.
Read my story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/the-first-person-to-walk-on-mars-could-be-an-officer/
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