Slouching Toward the Stars: In Defense of the Final Frontier

Astronauts Armstrong, Lovell and Cernan

The Right Stuff

On May 12, the first and last man to walk on the moon told the U.S. Congress that the decision to scrap America's return to the lunar surface was short sighted.

These two authentic heroes expressed fear that a timid approach to the final frontier could result in the US forfeiting yet another arena in which it had once been a pioneer and was rapidly becoming a mere bystander.

And as if Halliburton and Blackwater/Xe didn't have enough to do, the current proposal to shift to the lion's share of the planning and development of space transport systems to the private sector is a curious and ominous twist in the once exciting story of space exploration.

First words on the moon for each of the six Apollo missions

That's one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind.
Neil Armstrong Apollo 11 July 1969

Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but it's a long one for me.
Charles (Pete) Conrad -- the shortest astronaut -- Apollo 12 November 19 1969

Al is on the surface. And it's been a long way, but we're here.
Alan B. Shepherd Apollo 14 February 1971

As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I sort of realize there's a fundamental truth to our nature, Man must explore . . . and this is exploration at its greatest.
Dave Scott Apollo 15 July 1971

There you are, mysterious and unknown Descartes highland plains. Apollo 16 is gonna change your image.
John Young Apollo 16 April 1972

As I step off at the surface at Taurus-Littrow, I'd like to dedicate the first step of Apollo 17 to all those who made it possible.
Eugene Cernan Apollo 17 December 1972

And... the last words spoken on the moons surface, just before the launch of the Lunar Module...

OK, let's get this mother out of here.
Eugene Cernan Apollo 17 December 1972

What's the Buzz ...?

Buzz Aldrin sees no need to return to the moon where, after bitter infighting at NASA, he was denied the opportunity to be the first man to make footprints on lunar soil and had to play second fiddle to Neil Armstrong.

And while former astronauts Armstrong and Cernan were on Capitol Hill fighting to save the future of space travel, Buzz was otherwise occupied.