All the Same
Shepard's Apollo 14 crewmate Edgar Mitchel said his job as a lunar explorer wasn't all that unusual: "We fathers go to work at 8 A.M., just like everybody else. And we come home at 5 P.M. - but a week later."
Son of Apollo
Mission Control Center reported to the moonbound Apollo 12 crew that a baby boy born in Maryland at the moment of their launching had been named Charles Richard Alan, after the three astronauts. "Wilson is the family's last name," Houston added. Came the wisecrack back from the spacecraft, "Nobody's perfect."
On the flight back to Earth, Houston apparently had Bean worried a moment. Mission Control facetiously advised the hurtling spacecraft that ground controllers were still deciding "whether or not to give you a 'go' for re-entry"- as if there were any choice. Cried Bean in mock alarm: "Stop the world! I want to get off!"
Jack Swigert, the ruggedly handsome bachelor astronaut who flew to the moon aboard Apollo 13, took considerable ribbing about his being a Romeo. Friends said his favorite ploy to invite young ladies up to his apartment to see, not his etchings, but what he claimed were his moon rocks.
Among the countless requests made by the public for moon rocks was one from a girl named Debra in Washington State, who gave two good reasons for wanting her very own lunar sample:
"Because I have a rock collection - for Show-and-Tell."
Oldies but Goodies
There was no age limit to seekers of lunar samples. Grandparents by the scores wrote in requesting small pieces of the moon for their grandchildren. A ninety-year-old woman in Georgia, not wishing to be thought senile, began her request, "I would like to start this letter by saying I'm not crazy."