I was a child of the 60s. I loved the music and especially I loved the journey into space. I could tell you anything about it, even the names of the first seven astronauts: Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, Gordon Cooper, Wally Schirra, Deke Slayton, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter.
History records that Shepard was the first American in space, and he was one of the lucky ones to walk on the Moon. Glenn was the face of space for the USA. He was the first American to orbit the Earth, and the oldest person in space. Grissom died in the Apollo 1 fire in 1967. And so on, you can look them up.
The next group included Jim Lovell, Neil Armstrong and John Young.
Of all these mentioned here by name, Lovell is still alive, and many more of the ‘original’ astronauts are on the go, such as Buzz Aldrin and Dave Scott.
Of the twelve who walked on the Moon, four are still alive, Aldrin, Charlie Duke, Scott and Harrison Schmitt.
And while we all remember Apollo 11, and 13 probably, how many remember Apollo 12? Pete Conrad and Alan Bean walked on the Moon. They were more productive, more confident. The pressure was off somewhat.
In later life, Al Bean took up painting. He appeared in documentaries about space, including In The Shadow Of The Moon, a must see if you are interested in space.
It was announced yesterday that Mr Bean had died after a short and sudden illness. This follows Gene Cernan and John Young, both of whom died recently.
It is sad to think that if America wanted to go to the Moon this year, they couldn’t do it. The technology and the know-how no longer exists.