Voices from the Moon

What it was like, in the astronauts’ own words.

Pete Conrad, Apollo 12 Commander

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(NASA)

People don’t understand—they really don’t understand, the average Joe on the street…that this isn’t some great ----ing experience that, you know, is mystical, magical, changes your whole life, Jesus Christ, this, that, and the other thing. It’s just a ----ing pile of rocks that happen to be 250,000 miles away! It was a real challenge and a hell of a lot fun to get there. But after it’s all over, you can’t say that that’s where you want to retire because it’s pretty. It’s not. It’s beautiful in its starkness, but you don’t want to sit there forever and look at gray rocks! Or brown rocks, whatever.

(Photo: The cost of getting to fly to the moon: Pete Conrad exploring the Ocean of Storms.)

About Andrew Chaikin

Andrew Chaikin (andrewchaikin.com) is the author of A Man on the Moon, A Passion for Mars, and other books on space exploration. He has been an adviser to NASA on space policy.

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