A common question asked in quiz games is how many people have walked on the moon? I am always stunned at the number of times people will say one; of course, this is incorrect. The name Neil Armstrong is the name that most people will have heard of and not heard of many more, if any hence the answer of one in quiz games.
There has been a total of 12 people that have walked on the moon. The first man to walk on the moon was Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969, with the last man to walk on the moon being Eugene Cernan in December 1972.
We often talk about the 12 men that have walked on the moon. However, there is often a forgotten man and a crucial one at that.
Lunar exploration required three crew members to have a successful mission. All three crew members enter the spacecraft for liftoff to the moon. Attached to the spacecraft is an extra module that two of the crew member will ultimately enter. There will be a separation of the additional module and spaceship, with two astronauts on board to descend to the moon’s surface.
The third crew member remains in the main spacecraft to communicate between the module now on the moon and mission control back on Earth. Crew member three jobs is also to keep the spacecraft orbiting the moon in readiness for the return on the moon module. Upon redocking with the spacecraft, the task is then for decent back to earth.
All three crew members play a pivotal role in a successful lunar landing mission. Below we name all 12 men that have walked on the moon and all 12 men that have orbited the moon on the mission.
Who Walked on the Moon?
|Astronaut||Space Mission||Start of Mission||Mission Duration|
|Neil Armstrong||Apollo 11||July 16, 1969||8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes, 35 seconds|
|Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin||Apollo 11||July 16, 1969||8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes, 35 seconds|
|Charles “Pete” Conrad||Apollo 12||November 14, 1969||10 days, 4 hours, 36 minutes, 24 seconds|
|Alan Bean||Apollo 12||November 14, 1969||10 days, 4 hours, 36 minutes, 24 seconds|
|Alan B. Shepard Jr.||Apollo 14||January 31, 1971||9 days, 1 minute, 58 seconds|
|Edgar D. Mitchell||Apollo 14||January 31, 1971||9 days, 1 minute, 58 seconds|
|David R. Scott||Apollo 15||July 26, 1971||12 days, 7 hours, 11 minutes, 53 seconds|
|James B. Irwin||Apollo 15||July 26, 1971||12 days, 7 hours, 11 minutes, 53 seconds|
|John W. Young||Apollo 16||April 16, 1972||11 days, 1 hour, 51 minutes, 5 seconds|
|Charles M. Duke||Apollo 16||April 16, 1972||11 days, 1 hour, 51 minutes, 5 seconds|
|Eugene Cernan||Apollo 17||December 7, 1972||12 days, 13 hours, 51 minutes, 59 seconds|
|Harrison H. Schmitt||Apollo 17||December 7, 1972||12 days, 13 hours, 51 minutes, 59 seconds|
Who Orbited the Moon?
|Michael Collins||Apollo 11|
|Richard F. Gordon Jr.||Apollo 12|
|Stuart A. Roosa||Apollo 14|
|Alfred M. Worden||Apollo 15|
|Thomas K. Mattingly II||Apollo 16|
|Ronald E. Evans||Apollo 17|
You may notice that there is no woman on the lists above, and at the time of writing this article, there has been no woman to walk on the moon. Something that the US government and NASA are trying to put right before 2024 is the target.
Where it all started
Landing man on the moon didn’t just happen; it took years of preparation and other lunar missions. The eleven Apollo 11 is the giveaway that other lunar missions come before the first man stepping foot on the moon.
The Soviet Union carried out the first Lunar exploration on 4 August 1957, which launched Sputnik 1. What was the first artificial satellite of the earth was what ultimately proved that it was possible to reach space. The sputnik 1 lunar mission lasted a total of 21 days.
With this success under their belt, the Soviet Union would break new ground with there new space mission in 1959. What was named Lunar 1 became the first-ever spacecraft to reach the moon. However, despite leaving earth and reaching the moon in under three days, it failed to impact the moon’s surface. Missing by 6,000 Kilometers down to an error, this sounds like a big miss, but in astronomical terms, it’s pretty close.
Later in the same year, the Soviet Union launched Lunar 2 that successfully impacted the east of the moon’s surface. It was quickly followed up by Lunar 3. What was the first mission to return close-up photographs of the moon from space. The same mission returned images of the moon’s far side that we don’t get to see from Earth.
We have found that there were just 12 men who have walked on the moon. With six others within the same crew that carried out the mission.
It is extraordinary when you think that lunar exploration started in 1957. Then within 12 years, the first man took the first step on the moon.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and you got a little more than just the answer to how many people have walked on the moon. We have lots of articles within our site about the moon; feel free to check them out. If you are on the lookout for the best telescope to see the moon we even have a guide on that.