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The man from the moon: Part one

2 years ago

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Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder


9 September 2022

Once there were 12, now there are just four. One day not long from now, there will be none. And then an entire technological era, the greatest age of adventure, to which the conquest of the poles, the highest mountains and the deepest depths of the sea pale by comparison, will pass into history.

And unless the troubled Artemis programme can finally get itself off the ground, there it will stay. Today there are just four men alive who have walked on the surface of the moon. And implausible as it may sound, one of them is on the other end of the line.

It probably won’t be the most memorable telephone call of Brigadier General Charles Moss Duke Jr’s life, but it will almost certainly be mine. His came a while back – in Houston in 1969 to be precise, when he was CAPCOM (capsule communicator) as Apollo 11’s lunar module touched down on the moon. Moments after parking on the dusty surface of our only satellite with precisely 17 seconds of fuel remaining, Neil Armstrong nonchalantly uttered the second most famous words of his life: ‘Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.’

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