Thursday, December 8, 2011



Of the 522 space travelers I had the pleasure of researching and studying throughout November while creating my Astronaut Birthplaces Map, perhaps the most exclusive group of astronauts are the Moonwalkers: 12 humans who walked on the Lunar surface between July 1969 and December 1972.

All were male. All were American. All were Caucasian. All were born between 1923 and 1935. Three of the 12 men were Texans. One, Buzz Aldrin, earned a PhD.

Men Who Walked On The Moon

All but one were military men. Jack Schmitt was the lone geologist, and the only one who didn't serve in the armed forces. Of the remaining 11, seven were Navy men and four were in the Air Force.

Three are now already deceased: Conrad, Shepard and Irwin.

The nickname "Buzz" originated in childhood when his sister mispronounced "brother" as "buzzer", and this was shortened to Buzz. Aldrin made it his legal first name in 1988. When signing his name, he now tends to cross out "Edwin" on photographs or in older books.

Apollo Moon Landings
Eugene Cernan's distinction as the last person to walk on the moon meant that Purdue University of Indiana would hold the honor of being the alma mater of both the first person to walk on the moon and the last. Neil Armstrong earned Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering. Cernan earned his B.S. in electrical engineering.

Modern space suits possess urine collection hoses with pelvic attachments, and it is assumed that men will fit one of the available sizes: L, XL or XXL. In deference to astro-egos, there is no S or M. This was not the case with the Apollo EVA suits. Among the 100+ items left on the surface of the moon by Armstrong and Aldrin are four urine collection assemblies – two Large and two Small. Which man wore which size remains unknown.

Apollo 11
The Apollo 11 moon-walkers are the only astronauts to have a "star" on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, though their marker is actually round. You know, in the shape of the moon.

Number nine John Young was also the first commander of a Space Shuttle orbiter.

The youngest at the time of his moonwalk was 37. The eldest was 47.

Astronaut Scott Parazynski
Scott. Everest. Moonrock.

While not a lunar surface veteran, Scott Parazynski (STS-66, STS-86, STS-95, STS-100, STS-120) took a moon rock and other small remembrances of fallen astronauts to the summit of Mount Everest in 2009. He is the first and only astronaut to climb the world's tallest peak. So perhaps that is the smallest club, after all ;)