Where are the Apollo astronauts now after Walter Cunningham's death?

Where are the Apollo astronauts now? As Walter Cunningham, the last surviving member of the Apollo 7 mission passes away, MailOnline reveals what happened to the other famous NASA spacemen

  • Last surviving member of Apollo 7, Walter Cunningham, died aged 90 this month
  • He was one of 32 astronauts who flew on the Apollo programme in the 60s & 70s
  • Eleven of those spacemen are still alive, including four who walked on the moon
  • Here MailOnline recounts what happened to each of the 32 Apollo astronauts 

Walter Cunningham became the eighth Apollo astronaut to die in the last five years when he passed away earlier this month aged 90.

The last surviving member of the first NASA mission to broadcast live TV from orbit, his family said he died from natural causes ‘after a full and complete life’.

Michael Collins – who was part of the historic first ever moon landing mission with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin – passed away in 2021, while Apollo 9’s Jim McDivitt, 16’s John Young, 12’s Alan Bean and 15’s Alfred Worden have also died recently.

So who is left of the 32 astronauts who flew on the Apollo missions in the 1960s and 70s? Here, MailOnline takes a look at what happened to the iconic spacemen of Apollo.

The spacemen of Apollo: Who is left of the 32 astronauts who flew on the Apollo missions in the 1960s and 70s? After Walter Cunningham’s death, MailOnline takes a look at what happened to them all

 

Neil Armstrong – died aged 82 in 2012

First man: Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong

Apollo mission: 11

Born: August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio

Cause of death: Complications following heart bypass surgery

Spouses: Janet Shearon ​(m. 1956; div. 1994)​ and Carol Knight ​(m. 1994)​

Children: 3

NASA cohort: The New Nine (1962)

Known for: The first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong needs no introduction.

Loss of an American hero: Armstrong died in 2012 after suffering complications from heart bypass surgery. He is pictured in 2006 receiving NASA’s Ambassadors of Exploration award

Buzz Aldrin – 92

Quite the character: Buzz Aldrin also earned the nickname Dr. Rendezvous

Apollo mission: 11 

Born: January 20, 1930 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey

Spouses: Joan Ann Archer​ ​(m. 1954; div. 1974)​, Beverly Van Zile​ ​(m. 1975; div. 1978) and Lois Driggs Cannon ​(m. 1988; div. 2012)​

Children: 3

NASA cohort: The Fourteen (1963)

Known for: Being the second man to walk on the moon! He retired from NASA in 1971 and in 1998 founded the ShareSpace Foundation, a non-profit organisation to promote the expansion of crewed space exploration.

After NASA: Aldrin retired from the space agency in 1971 and in 1998 founded the ShareSpace Foundation, a non-profit organisation to promote the expansion of crewed space exploration

QUITE THE CHARACTER: HOW BUZZ HAS NEVER BEEN FAR FROM THE LIMELIGHT SINCE 1969

After entering the history books with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin said he struggled through a dark time during which he did not know what he should be doing with his life.

He battled depression and alcoholism, but has now been sober for more than 40 years.

In 2002, Aldrin escaped assault charges after punching a man who demanded he swear on a Bible that the moon landing was not staged.

Goal: Aldrin has written a number of books but in recent years has called for the colonisation of Mars

Five years ago he also sued two of his children Andrew and Janice and his former business manager Christina Korp, alleging that they had stolen money from him and slandered his legacy by suggesting he had dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

He dropped the lawsuit in 2019 after his two children withdrew their petition seeking guardianship of his affairs.

In 2007, Aldrin said he had recently had a face-lift, joking that the g-forces he was exposed to in space ’caused a sagging jowl that needed some attention’, while in 2016 he had to be evacuated from the South Pole after falling ill.

The retired astronaut has also stayed in the public eye by making cameo appearances in hit American television shows such as the Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons and 30 Rock. 

Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear was even named in honour of him.

Aldrin has written a number of books but in recent years has called for the colonisation of Mars. 

The 92-year-old said a ‘great migration’ is necessary not only for the sake of exploration but for the ongoing survival of the human race. 

Michael Collins – died aged 90 in 2021

Carrying the fire: Michael Collins orbited the moon alone during the Apollo 11 landing

Apollo mission: 11 

Born: October 31, 1930 in Rome, Italy

Cause of death: Cancer

Spouse: Patricia Finnegan​ ​(m. 1957; died 2014)​

Children: 3

NASA cohort: The Fourteen (1963)

Known for: Becoming the most solitary human in the universe when he was left orbiting the moon inside Apollo 11’s command module Columbia while Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the lunar surface. Collins wrote several books, including Carrying the Fire (1974), which was dedicated to his wife.

What he did next: After his spaceflight career, Collins wrote several books that included his autobiography Carrying the Fire (1974), which was dedicated to his wife. He is pictured in 2019

Virgil ‘Gus’ Grissom – died aged 40 in 1967

Tragedy: Gus Grissom, one of the Mercury Seven, was killed in the Apollo 1 fire in 1967

Apollo mission: 1

Born: April 3, 1926 in Mitchell, Indiana

Cause of death: Asphyxiation after a fire broke out during a pre-launch test for Apollo 1

Spouse: Betty Lavonne Moore (m. 1945; died 2018)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The Mercury Seven (1959)

Known for: A potential candidate for the moon landing that was to come two years after his death, Grissom sadly perished in the Apollo 1 fire. He was a member of the original Mercury Seven and one of the first people to visit space, travelling aboard Liberty Bell 7 in 1961.

Wally Schirra – died aged 84 in 2007

The Right Stuff: Wally Schirra flew on Apollo 7

Apollo mission: 7

Born: March 12, 1923 in Hackensack, New Jersey

Cause of death: Heart attack while undergoing treatment for abdominal cancer

Spouse: Josephine Fraser (m. 1946; died 2015)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The Mercury Seven (1959)

Known for: His row with Mission Control during Apollo 7. Tensions were high after the loss of the Apollo 1 astronauts, leading to a series of disagreements breaking out over food, helmets and spacesuits during the first crewed flight in NASA’s Apollo programme.

Schirra (pictured in 2006) was also known for his row with Mission Control during Apollo 7. Tensions were high after the loss of the Apollo 1 astronauts, leading to disagreements breaking out over food, helmets and spacesuits during the first crewed flight of the Apollo programme

Alan Shepard – died aged 74 in 1998

A man of firsts: Alan Shepard is almost as well known for playing golf on the moon as he is for being the first American in space in 1961

Apollo mission: 14

Born: November 18, 1923 in Derry, New Hampshire

Cause of death: Complications from chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

Spouse: Louise Brewer (m. 1945; died 1998)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The Mercury Seven (1959)

Known for: Becoming the first American in space, as well as smacking two golf balls on the moon when he set foot on the lunar surface during the Apollo 14 mission. 

Al Shephard is pictured looking on during a golfing event in 1995, three years before his death

Ed White – died aged 36 in 1967

Taken too soon: Ed White also perished in the Apollo 1 fire in 1967. He was just 36 years old

Apollo mission: 1

Born: November 14, 1930 in San Antonio, Texas

Cause of death: Asphyxiation after a fire broke out during a pre-launch test for Apollo 1

Spouse: Patricia Eileen Finegan (m. 1953; died 1983)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The New Nine (1962)

Known for: White also died in the Apollo 1 tragedy. Two years earlier he had become the first American to walk in space during the Gemini 4 mission. He was also considered to be the most physically fit of all the astronauts in the corps.

Jim McDivitt – died aged 93 in 2022

Experienced: A veteran of both Gemini and Apollo, Jim McDivitt died in 2022 aged 93

Apollo mission: 9

Born: June 10, 1929 in Chicago, Illinois

Cause of death: Died in his sleep

Spouse: Patricia Ann Haas (m. 1956; div. 1989) and Judith Ann Odell (m. 1985)

Children: 4

NASA cohort: The New Nine (1962)

Known for: Being the commander of Apollo 9, a mission which played a critical role in landing the first humans on the moon. It was the first flight of the complete set of Apollo hardware and a maiden journey for the lunar module. 

Receiving a medal: McDivitt (right) was the commander of Apollo 9, a mission which played a critical role in landing the first humans on the moon

Frank Borman – 94 

Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman is the oldest living American astronaut

Apollo mission:

Born: March 14, 1928 in Gary, Indiana

Spouse: Susan Bugbee (m. 1950; died 2021)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The New Nine (1962)

Known for: Being commander of the first human spaceflight to reach the moon. The crew orbited the lunar surface ten times without landing. Following John Glenn’s death in December 2016, Borman became the oldest living American astronaut. He is eleven days older than his Apollo 8 crewmate, Jim Lovell.

In later life: Borman was commander of the first human spaceflight to reach the moon, Apollo 8. The crew orbited the lunar surface ten times without landing. He is pictured in April 2018

Jim Lovell – 94

Aka Tom Hanks: Jim Lovell is perhaps most famous for being commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, which was made into a film

Apollo missions: 8 and 13

Born: March 25, 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio

Spouse: Marilyn Lillie Gerlach (m. 1952)

Children: 4

NASA cohort: The New Nine (1962)

Known for: The ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, which was turned into a Hollywood movie in 1995. Lovell, played by Tom Hanks in the film, was commander of the spacecraft which was meant to be the third to land on the moon. However, the mission was aborted after an oxygen tank in the service module exploded, forcing the crew to limp home during a treacherous trip around the moon and back.

Close: Jim Lovell went to space on two Apollo missions, 8 and 13, but did not land on the moon

Thomas Stafford – 92

The nearly man: Thomas Stafford came within nine miles of the lunar surface as commander of the mission which preceded the first moon landing

Apollo mission: 10

Born: September 17, 1930 in Weatherford, Oklahoma

Spouse: Faye Shoemaker (m. 1953; div 1985) and Linda Ann Dishman (m. 1988)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The New Nine (1962)

Known for: A strong believer that public outreach was a vital aspect of the Apollo programme, Stafford helped design a colour camera to replace the grainy black-and-white video broadcast before from space. He commanded the Apollo 10 mission, coming within nine miles of the lunar surface while scouting the landing site for Apollo 11.

A strong believer that public outreach was a vital aspect of the Apollo programme, Stafford helped design a colour camera to replace the grainy black-and-white video broadcast before from space. He is pictured in May 2019

John Young – died aged 87 in 2018 

Moon walker: John Young became the ninth person to step foot on the lunar surface, as commander of the Apollo 16 mission in 1972

Apollo missions:  10 and 16

Born: September 24, 1930 in San Francisco, California

Cause of death: Complications from pneumonia

Spouse: Barbara White (m. 1955; div 1971) and Susy Feldman (m. 1971)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The New Nine (1962)

Known for: Being the only astronaut to fly on four different classes of spacecraft: Gemini, the Apollo command and service module, the Apollo lunar module and the Space Shuttle. He was also the ninth person to walk on the moon as commander of the Apollo 16 mission in 1972.

John Young was the only astronaut to fly on four different classes of spacecraft: Gemini, the Apollo command and service module, the Apollo lunar module and the Space Shuttle

Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad – died aged 69 in 1999

‘When you can’t be good be colourful’: Third moon walker Pete Conrad’s motto

Apollo mission: 12

Born: June 2, 1930 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cause of death: Motorbike accident

Spouse: Jane DuBose (m. 1953; div 1988) and Nancy Crane (m. 1990)

Children: 4

NASA cohort: The New Nine (1962)

Known for: Being the third person to walk on the moon and uttering the words ‘Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.’ He also had the motto: ‘when you can’t be good be colourful’. NASA has a grove of trees at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston that have been planted to honour the memory of the astronauts who have died. Following Conrad’s death in 1999, the tree planted in his memory has been lit up with red lights every Christmas, while all the others are white.

Following Conrad’s death in 1999, a tree planted in his memory has been lit up with red lights every Christmas, while all the others are white

Dave Scott – 90

Veteran: Dave Scott flew on Gemini 8, as well as the two Apollo missions 9 and 15

Apollo missions: 9 and 15

Born: June 6, 1932 in San Antonio, Texas

Spouse: Ann Lurton Ott (m. 1959; div) and Margaret Black (m.)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The Fourteen (1963)

Known for: Making his first flight to space as a pilot of the Gemini 8 mission, along with Neil Armstrong. He would have been the second American astronaut to walk in space had the mission not famously made an emergency abort, with Scott and Armstrong dramatically averting disaster. Scott and James Irwin would later spend three days on the moon during Apollo 15.

Scott (pictured in 2009) would have been the second American astronaut to walk in space had the Gemini 8 mission not made an emergency abort. He later stepped foot on the moon in 1971

Gene Cernan – died aged 82 in 2017

Tribute: Just before leaving the moon, Gene Cernan dropped to one knee and etched his daughter’s initials, ‘TDC’, into the lunar soil

Apollo missions: 10 and 17

Born: March 14, 1934 in Chicago, Illinois

Cause of death: Died following ‘ongoing health issues’

Spouse: Barbara Jean Atchley (m. 1961; div 1981) and Janis Ellen Jones (m. 1987; died 2021)

Children: 1

NASA cohort: The Fourteen (1963)

Known for: Being the last astronaut to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon — for now. Just before leaving, Cernan dropped to one knee and etched his daughter Tracey’s initials, ‘TDC’, into the lunar soil. Because the moon has no wind or atmosphere, it will likely remain there for a very long time.

Last man: Gene Cernan was the final Apollo astronaut to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon

He etched his daughter Tracey’s initials, ‘TDC’, into the lunar soil. Because the moon has no wind or atmosphere, it will likely remain there for a very long time. The two are pictured here

WHO HAS BEEN TO THE MOON?

In total 12 people have walked on the moon.

1 + 2. Apollo 11 – July 21, 1969

Neil Armstrong made history by becoming the first person to set foot on the lunar surface, before he he was followed by crewmate Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin.

3 + 4. Apollo 12 – November 19 and 20, 1969

Pete Conrad and Alan Bean were the moon walkers on the Apollo 12 mission. 

The Apollo 12 crew experienced two lightning strikes just after their Saturn V rocket launched.

5 + 6. Apollo 14 – February 5, 1971 

Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell were part of the Apollo 14 mission. They launched on January 31, 1971, and landed in the Fra Mauro region of the moon, the original destination for Apollo 13.

7 + 8. Apollo 15 – July 31, 1971

Dave Scott and James Irwin landed on the moon and stayed for three days, until August 2.

 9 + 10. Apollo 16 – April 21, 1972

John Young and Charlie Duke were the next men to walk on the moon. When the crew reached lunar orbit, the mission almost had to be aborted because of a problem with the command and service module’s main engine.

11 + 12. Apollo  17 – December 11, 1972

The final people to walk on the moon were Eugene (Gene) Cernan and Harrison (Jack) Schmitt. 

Before he left the moon, Cernan scratched the initials of his daughter Tracy into the lunar regolith. Since the moon does not experience weather conditions like wind or rain to erode anything away, her initials should stay there for a very long time. 

All the men who have been to the moon 

Richard Gordon – died aged 88 in 2017

Disappointment: Richard Gordon was due to command Apollo 18 and finally land on the moon, but that mission was cancelled

Apollo mission: 12

Born: October 5, 1929 in Seattle, Washington

Cause of death: Died in his sleep

Spouse: Barbara Field (m; div) and Linda Saunders (m.)

Children: 6

NASA cohort: The Fourteen (1963)

Known for: Gordon piloted the space module Yankee Clipper on the Apollo 12 mission, orbiting the moon while Pete Conrad and Alan Bean landed the lunar module. He was scheduled to command Apollo 18 and finally land on the moon, but that mission was cancelled due to lack of funding.

Following Apollo 11: Gordon piloted the space module Yankee Clipper on the Apollo 12 mission

Roger Chaffee – died aged 31 in 1967

Tragedy: Roger Chaffee was among the three astronauts who were killed in the Apollo 1 fire

Apollo mission: 1

Born: February 15, 1935 in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Cause of death: Asphyxiation after a fire broke out during a pre-launch test for Apollo 1

Spouse: Martha Horn (m. 1957)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The Fourteen (1963)

Known for: Chaffee was among the three astronauts who were killed in the Apollo 1 fire. His daughter Sheryl Chaffee Marshall, who was just eight when she lost her father, would also go on to work for NASA as an administrative specialist in safety and mission assurance. 

Donn Eisele – died aged 57 in 1987

Test case: Donn Eisele divorced his wife not long after Apollo 7. He never flew to space again

Apollo mission: 7

Born: June 23, 1930 in Columbus, Ohio

Cause of death: Heart attack while on a business trip to Tokyo

Spouse: Harriet Hamilton (m; div 1968) and Susan Eisele Black (m. 1988)

Children: 6 (four with Harriet Hamilton, two with Susan Eisele Black)

NASA cohort: The Fourteen (1963)

Known for: Being the test case to see if you could divorce and still fly in space again. He did not. Eisele divorced his wife not long after Apollo 7 and almost immediately remarried, which didn’t fit with NASA’s carefully cultivated image of astronauts as All-American, clean-cut idols.

Walter Cunningham – died aged 90 in 2023

Another history-maker: Walter Cunningham was part of the three-man crew on the first launch of a crewed Apollo mission 

Apollo mission: 7

Born: March 16, 1932 in Creston, Iowa

Cause of death: Complications resulting from a fall

Spouse: Lo Ella Irby (m. 1956; div) and Dot Cunningham (m.)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The Fourteen (1963)

Known for: Being part of the three-man crew on the first launch of a crewed Apollo mission. Cunningham was designated the lunar module pilot for the 11-day flight.

Cunningham’s family said he died at the beginning of January from natural causes ‘after a full and complete life’. He is pictured in October 2014

Russell ‘Rusty’ Schweickart – 87

Multifaceted: As well as flying on Apollo 9, Schweickart was also the backup commander of the first crewed Skylab mission in 1973

Apollo mission: 9

Born: October 25, 1935 in Neptune, New Jersey

Spouse: Clare Whitfield(m; div) and Nancy Ramsey (m.)

Children: 7

NASA cohort: The Fourteen (1963)

Known for: Performing the first in-space test of the portable life support system used by the Apollo astronauts who walked on the moon, during Apollo 9. Schweickart would also later serve as the backup commander of the first crewed Skylab mission in 1973.

Schweickart performed the first in-space test of the portable life support system used by the Apollo astronauts who walked on the moon, during Apollo 9

Bill Anders – 89

Iconic image: During Apollo 8, Bill Anders took a famous picture of our planet known as ‘Earthrise’

Apollo mission – 8

Born: October 17, 1933 in Hong Kong

Spouse: Valerie Hoard (m. 1954)

Children: 6

NASA cohort: The Fourteen (1963)

Known for: Earthrise. When the crew of Apollo 8 rounded the moon in 1968, Bill Anders snapped an iconic image that would change humanity’s perception of our world forever. Known as ‘Earthrise’, it captures the planet’s tender blue colour as it floats against the backdrop of the eternal night of space. Before the flight, no one had thought about photographing Earth, according to Anders.

When the crew of Apollo 8 rounded the moon in 1968, Bill Anders snapped an iconic image that would change humanity’s perception of our world forever. He is pictured in 2018

Iconic: Known as ‘Earthrise’, it captures the planet’s tender blue colour as it floats against the backdrop of the eternal night of space

Alan Bean – died aged 86 in 2018

Talented: Alan Bean was also an avid artist

Apollo mission: 12

Born: March 15, 1932 in Wheeler, Texas

Cause of death: Short illness

Spouse: Sue Ragsdale (m. 1955; div 1976) and Leslie Bean (m. 1976)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The Fourteen (1963)

Known for: Also being an accomplished artist. Bean’s paintings include Lunar Grand Prix and Rock and Roll on the Ocean of Storms. He also used real moon dust in his paintings.

Bean’s paintings include Lunar Grand Prix and Rock and Roll on the Ocean of Storms. He also used real moon dust in his paintings

Harrison ‘Jack’ Schmitt – 87

Civilian: Harrison Schmitt is the only person without a background in military aviation to have walked on the moon

Apollo mission: 17

Born: July 3, 1935 in Santa Rita, New Mexico

Spouse: Teresa Fitzgibbon (m.)

Children: 0

NASA cohort: The Scientists (1965)

Known for: Being the only person without a background in military aviation to walk on the moon. Following Eugene Cernan’s death, Schmitt is also the most recent living person to have stepped foot on the lunar surface. A geologist by trade, Schmitt was one of a group of scientists to be selected for the Apollo programme in 1965. 

A geologist by trade, Schmitt was one of a group of scientists to be selected for the Apollo programme in 1965. He is pictured in June 2017

Ken Mattingly – 86

Grounded by the sniffles: Ken Mattingly was removed from the Apollo 13 mission due to exposure to German measles, which he never contracted. He would later fly on Apollo 16

Apollo mission: 16

Born: March 17, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois

Spouse: Elizabeth Dailey (m. 1970)

Children: 1

NASA cohort: The New Nine (1962)

Known for: Not getting the measles. Another astronaut who was portrayed in the Apollo 13 film, Mattingly was due to be the command module pilot for the mission. However, he was removed from the flight three days before due to exposure to German measles – which he never contracted – and was replaced by the backup CM pilot, Jack Swigert. Mattingly would later fly on Apollo 16.

Mattingly was due to be the command module pilot for the Apollo 13 mission. He is pictured in May 2012

John ‘Jack’ Swigert – died aged 51 in 1982

Backup: Jack Swigert replaced Ken Mattingly on the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission in 1970

Apollo mission: 13

Born: August 30, 1931 in Denver, Colorado

Cause of death: Bone marrow cancer

Spouse: None

Children: 0

NASA cohort: The New Nine (1962)

Known for: Being the man who replaced Ken Mattingly on Apollo 13. Swigert was also a member of Apollo 7’s astronaut support crew, the first for an Apollo mission. After leaving NASA, Swigert ran for Senate but lost. He would later be elected to Congress, having been diagnosed with cancer while running for the seat, but died before being sworn in. 

Fred Haise – 89

Dream dashed: : Fred Haise would have been the sixth person to walk on the moon if the Apollo 13 mission had not been aborted

Apollo mission: 13

Born: November 14, 1933 in Biloxi, Mississippi

Spouse: Mary Griffin Grant (m. 1954; div 1978) and Frances Patt Price (m. 1919; died 2022)

Children: 4

NASA cohort: The Original 19 (1966)

Known for: Being the third of the astronauts on Apollo 13. He would have been the sixth person to walk on the moon if the mission had not been aborted. Haise went on to fly five Space Shuttle tests in 1977 and retired from NASA two years later.

Haise went on to fly five Space Shuttle tests in 1977 and retired from NASA two years later. He is pictured in July 2012

Stuart Roosa – died aged 61 in 1994

Isolated: Stuart Roosa orbited the moon 34 times while Apollo 14 crewmates Al Shepard and Edgar Mitchell were on the lunar surface

Apollo mission: 14

Born: August 16, 1933 in Durango, Colorado

Cause of death: Complications of pancreatitis

Spouse: Joan Barrett (m. 1957)

Children: 4

NASA cohort: The Original 19 (1966)

Known for: The command module pilot for Apollo 14, Roosa orbited the moon 34 times while Al Shepard and Edgar Mitchell spent two days on the lunar surface. He also carried out experiments from orbit in the command module Kitty Hawk.

Edgar Mitchell – died aged 85 in 2016

Scientific study: Apollo 14 pair Edgar Mitchell and Al Shepard collected almost 100 pounds of lunar samples for return to Earth

Apollo mission: 14

Born: September 17, 1930 in Hereford, Texas

Cause of death: Died in his sleep after a short illness

Spouse: Louise Randall (m. 1951; div 1972), Anita Rettig (m. 1973; div 1984) and Sheilah Ledbetter (m. 1989; div 1999)

Children: 5

NASA cohort: The Original 19 (1966)

Known for: Staying on the moon for 33 hours after landing with Al Shepard aboard the lunar module Antares in February 1971. The pair carried out experiments and collected almost 100 pounds of lunar samples for return to Earth.

Mitchell stayed on the moon for 33 hours after landing with Apollo 14 crewmate Al Shepard aboard the lunar module Antares in February 1971. He is pictured in September 2007

Alfred Worden – died aged 88 in 2020

Record holder: The day after leaving the moon, Apollo 15 command module pilot Al Worden made the first spacewalk in deep space, almost 200,000 miles from our planet

Apollo mission: 15

Born: February 7, 1932 in Jackson, Michigan

Cause of death: Died after a short illness

Spouse: Pamela Vander Beek (m. 1955; div 1969), Sandra Lee Wilder (m. 1974; div 1980) and Jill Lee Hotchkiss (m. 1982; died 2014)

Children: 2 and a stepdaughter from his third marriage

NASA cohort: The Original 19 (1966)

Known for: The day after leaving the moon, Apollo 15 command module pilot Worden made the first spacewalk in deep space, almost 200,000 miles from our planet. He was greeted with the extraordinary sight of the Earth and moon either side of him, and set a Guinness World record in the process. 

Worden was greeted with the extraordinary sight of the Earth and moon either side of him, and set a Guinness World record in the process. He is pictured in March 2019

James Irwin – died aged 61 in 1991

Devastating: Of the 12 men who have walked on the lunar surface, James Irwin was the first to die. He passed away in 1991 aged 61

Apollo mission: 15

Born: March 17, 1930 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Cause of death: Heart attack

Spouse: Mary Etta Wehling (m. 1952; div 1954) and Mary Ellen Monroe (m. 1959)

Children: 5

NASA cohort: The Original 19 (1966)

Known for: Spending three days on the moon with Dave Scott in 1971.  Of the 12 men who have walked on the lunar surface, Irwin was the first to die. He suffered three major heart attacks during his life, including one less than two years after Apollo 15, when Irwin was just 43 years old.

Charlie Duke – 87

Young buck: Charlie Duke was the tenth and youngest person to walk on the moon, aged 36 years and 201 days, in 1972

Apollo mission: 16

Born: October 3, 1935 in Charlotte, North Carolina

Spouse: Dotty Meade Claiborne (m. 1963)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The Original 19 (1966)

Known for: Serving as CAPCOM for Apollo 11, the first crewed landing on the moon. Duke’s stumbled over his first words in reply to Neil Armstrong’s radio message from the surface of the moon. He said: ‘Roger, Twank…Tranquility, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot!’ Duke would later become the tenth and youngest person to walk on the moon, aged 36 years and 201 days, in 1972.

Serving as CAPCOM for Apollo 11, the first crewed landing on the moon. Duke’s stumbled over his first words in reply to Neil Armstrong’s radio message from the surface of the moon. He said: ‘Roger, Twank…Tranquility, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot!’ Duke is pictured in 2019

Ronald Evans – died aged 56 in 1990

Lonely: Apollo 17 command module pilot Ronald Evans holds the record for the most time spent in lunar orbit

Apollo mission: 17

Born: November 10, 1933 in St. Francis, Kansas

Cause of death: Died in his sleep of a heart attack

Spouse: Janet Merle Pollom (m.)

Children: 2

NASA cohort: The Original 19 (1966)

Known for: Being the last person to orbit the moon alone At 147 hours and 43 minutes, he also holds the record for the most time spent in lunar orbit after serving as command module pilot for Apollo 17.

WHAT WAS THE APOLLO PROGRAMME?

This NASA photo taken on July 16, 1969 shows the huge, 363ft tall Apollo 11 rocket launched from pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center

Apollo was the NASA programme that launched in 1961 and got the first man on the moon eight years later.

The first four flights tested the equipment for the Apollo Program and six of the other seven flights managed to land on the moon.

The first manned mission to the moon was Apollo 8 which circled around it on Christmas Eve in 1968 but did not land.

The crew of Apollo 9 spent ten days orbiting Earth and completed the first manned flight of the lunar module – the section of the Apollo rocket that would later land Neil Armstrong on the moon.  

The Apollo 11 mission was the first one to land on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.

The capsule landed on the Sea of Tranquillity, carrying mission commander Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin.

Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the lunar surface while Michael Collins remained in orbit around the moon. 

When Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, he said, ‘That’s one small step for (a) man; one giant leap for mankind.’

Apollo 12 landed later that year on November 19 on the Ocean of Storms.

Apollo 13 was to be the third mission to land on the moon, but just under 56 hours into flight, an oxygen tank explosion forced the crew to cancel the lunar landing and move into the Aquarius lunar module to return back to Earth.  

Apollo 15 was the ninth manned lunar mission in the Apollo space program, and considered at the time the most successful manned space flight up to that moment because of its long duration and greater emphasis on scientific exploration than had been possible on previous missions. 

The last Apollo moon landing happened in 1972 after a total of 12 astronauts had touched down on the lunar surface.

Astronaut Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin is pictured unpacking experiments from the lunar module on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. He was photographed by Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969

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