Moonwalker Charlie Duke

Another outstanding passport - Moon walker Charlie Duke
Flickr by BostonBill

Moonwalker Charlie Duke
Another outstanding collectible from Bill – congratulations! From his collection of space flight memorabilia: Passport issued to NASA astronaut and Apollo 16 moonwalker Charlie Duke.

Charles Duke is an American astronaut best known for being the tenth person to walk on the Moon. Duke was a member of NASA’s fifth group of astronauts, selected in 1966, and flew on two space missions: Apollo 16 in 1972 and the Space Shuttle in 1983.

During the Apollo 16 mission, Duke served as the lunar module pilot and spent 71 hours on the surface of the Moon. He and mission commander John Young conducted three extravehicular activities (EVAs, or “moonwalks”) during their time on the Moon. They explored the Descartes Highlands region and collected lunar samples. Duke is also known for participating in the “tethered satellite” experiment, in which he used a long cable to fly a small satellite in circles around the Moon.

After his spaceflight career, Duke served as the director of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and later worked as a consultant for several aerospace companies. He is a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society, a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and a member of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

Duke was CAPCOM during the Apollo 11 mission. His is the voice you recall saying, “Roger, Twank… Tranquility, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot!” when the lunar module landed on the moon. Duke also made history by catching German measles while training in the backup crew for the Apollo 13 mission, exposing the crew to the disease and causing Ken Mattingly to be replaced by Jack Swigart on that terrifying spaceflight. Duke went to the moon (with Mattingly as command module pilot) on the Apollo 16 mission in April 1972. He retired from NASA in 1975, having reached the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force, and founded Duke Investments. Duke also became a Christian and a lay minister to prison inmates. TWELVE men walked on the moon. FOUR are still alive, including Charlie!

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