Terrifying experience: Apollo astronaut almost lost his life when trying to jump high on the Moon - Photo 1.

Apollo astronaut almost lost his life when trying to jump high on the Moon


July 20 will mark the 50th anniversary since the first man set foot on the Moon. To celebrate the great event, Apollo astronauts are circling the Earth, meeting each other to review related memories at the moment of humanity's great moment.

Charlie Duke, Apollo 16 astronaut, was standing at the Decartes landing site at the edge of the Plum Hole on April 21, 1972.

At a meeting with the astronauts at New York's Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charlie Duke, the moderator who landed at the Moon during Apollo 16, answered Business Insider about his experience. considered the scariest of my life.

"It was 1972, and in Munich was hosting the Olympics, so we opened the "Moon Olympics."", Duke said, who at the time was 36 years old was the youngest person to step on the Moon.

But he has not yet mastered the main steps in that bulky suit. This led to an accidental fall that was able to rip the only barrier between him and the endless space of the Universe – which could kill Duke.

Duke's deadly high jump

At the Cradle of Aviation museum – which is displaying modules to land at the Moon – astronauts have answered a number of questions, including the project of bringing people back to the Moon in 2024 by the president. Donald Trump, and what will be the next "Apollo moment".

Terrifying experience: Apollo astronaut almost lost his life when trying to jump high on the Moon - Photo 2.

Charlie Duke, one of the astronauts who walked on the Moon in the Apollo 16 mission, stood next to a set of clothes at the Cradle of Aviation museum.

When asked about some lesser-known stories, Duke talked about a detail written in his 1990 book, "Moonwalker". Duke said that he and Commander John Young decided to use the last minutes on the Moon's surface to defeat some of the achievements set on Earth by athletes. This is possible, because the Moon's gravity is only one-sixth the size of the Earth.

"We started jumping high"He shared.

Although they were just playing together, he could reach a height of 1.2 meters – an impressive distance, especially when Duke was wearing a bulky clothing. But when he stretched out in the air, things went bad.

The clothes the Apollo astronauts wore weighed more than 136kg on Earth, but in the Moon environment, the suit was only about 22kg. Even so, more than half of the weight of the suit lies in the backpack behind him, which causes the wearer to lose his balance.

"The bag weighs nearly as much as my body, so I lost momentum"Duke said. "The bag made of fiberglass, contains all life support equipment for me. As long as it fails, I will die".

Duke tried to tilt to the right so that he could stop the "landing" but still fell on the backpack – also known as PLSS, a kind of nursing device.

If he makes a batch of this device or tears a suit, it will create a "scandal" phenomenon, or it is a loss of oxygen to breathe. This could make Duke unconscious and could kill him before Young could pull him back to the module, close the valve and balance the air in the ship.

"My heart pounded constantly. John Young, my commander, came and said, "It's a smart decision, Charlie." I just said, ‘Pull me up, John"," He said.

As soon as he could stand up, Duke listened to the sound of the PLSS device so he could decide if it had a problem.

"The pump is still running normally. I said ‘I think everything is fine. I had one more lesson: Don't ever do anything in the air if I haven't practiced it thoroughly. And we have not practiced high jump ever"Mr. Duke said.

A TV camera returned to Duke's scary moment, but was blocked by a part of the device.

Moon Olympics – Astronauts jump high on the Moon.

Stumble on the moon

This is not the only time Duke has fallen on the Moon. While poking the piercing device, he fell forward, and tumbled after trying to pick up a clip (which he used to pick up a hammer that had dropped a while ago).

Some other astronauts have had difficulties above – humans have never been able to operate in a low gravitational environment, causing their bodies and objects to function abnormally.

Not only that, even after months of hard work, Apollo astronauts often wrestled with heavy, rigid and hard-to-use suits. Having to operate it is like wearing an inflated balloon. Getting down to pick up an object in the gloves is almost impossible, so astronauts must rely on the tools available. To sit down, they need to jump up, and use ground force to compress this gas-filled suit.

The video below is a summary of astronauts' falls on the Moon. That's funny, but it's also full of dangers.

Astronauts stumble on the Moon

For future missions to the Moon and Mars, NASA and aerospace companies are designing lighter, more balanced, and easier suits for simple actions.

With these improvements, astronauts will no longer have to put them in a dangerous position when falling in NASA or SpaceX missions.


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