The Moon Boy
One young Englishman thought he would be an especially fitting choice as an astronaut. He wrote to NASA:
"I am nine years old. For the sake of the Mother Country I would like Very Much to become the First Man on the moon. If you agreed I would like to start training as soon as you think fit. As my name is also very appropriate will you please consider my request?"
The letter was signed Robin Moon.
Famous Last Words
Who can forget those immortal words uttered by Cernan on the moon just as America's last moonship blasted off? "Okay," intoned the astronaut, "let's get this mother out of here!"
End of the Line
One wag borrowed a page from Neil Armstrong's book by labeling the project-ending Apollo 17 moon flight as "one giant stop for manking."
Cutting Up in Orbit
During the second Skylab flight, astronaut Jack Lousma kibitzed as Owen Garriot gave commander Bean a haircut. Garriot snipped away as best he could while Bean used a suction hose to snare the cuttings drifting weightlessly around his head. After watching awhile, Lousma wisecracked that he could see that "it's not going to be a professional job - but there's no waiting and the price is right." Then he added, with a touch of wonder:
"You know, there aren't many folks that get haircut at 18,000 miles per hour."
No Fear Here
"Are you afraid of high places?" the guide asked his party of tourists on horseback before leading them down a steep trail into the Grand Canyon one day in the late 1969s. The question evoked laughter from two members of the group - visiting cosmonauts Georgi Beregovoy and Konstantin Feoktistov. The pair had only recently returned from an especially high place - in orbit more than 100 miles "up."
Armstrong happened to be visiting Star City - the Moscow suburban community for cosmonauts - when the Soviets orbited Soyuz 9. The manned craft was launched from a space center more than a thousand miles away, so Armstrong wasn't on hand for the liftoff. But the moonwalker did see it on television at Star City, and his host and tour guide, Cosmonaut Genral Georgi Beregovoy, joked that the flight was "a gift for you."