Pete Conrad, Apollo 12 Commander
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.)