Andrew Smith: The men who fell to earth

In 1999, journalist Andrew Smith was interviewing Charlie Duke--one of the 12 astronauts who landed on the moon in the space missions that took place between 1969 and 1972--for a magazine article, when Duke received some bad news. Pete Conrad, commander of the Apollo 12 mission, had been killed in a motorcycle accident.

Duke's words on hearing the news--"Now there are only nine of us"--resonated with Smith. He was struck by the realisation that in the not-so-distant future there will be no man alive on earth who has had that extraordinary experience of viewing our planet from the moon.

In...

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