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The man from the moon: Part two

2 years ago

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Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder


12 September 2022

At the end of part one, we left Charlie Duke in hospital with double pneumonia in early 1972, fearing that even if he did recover in time for his mission to the moon, the training he’d have missed may well have precluded his participation no matter how healthy he was.

In fact we’ll never know if he would have made it or not because a technical fault developed on Apollo 16 requiring the entire spacecraft to be wheeled back into its assembly hall, making Duke probably the only astronaut ever to give thanks for his spaceship hitting trouble. By the time it was fixed and back in place, the launch had been put back by one crucial month, by which time Charlie was fully back up to speed in both mind and body.

By this stage in the interview I’d become acutely aware our allotted interview time was already long gone, and it was hard not to notice that so far as his moonshot was concerned, Charlie hadn’t even got off the ground. He still seemed happy to chat but I was mindful of the need to cut to the chase.

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