Charlie Duke: My father was born shortly after the Wright Brothers. He could barely believe that I went to the Moon. But my son, Tom, was five. And he didn't think it was any big deal. Jim Lovell: One day, under secret orders, a group of us at the test pilot center were ordered to go to Washington, to get a briefing. And they talked about the Atlas booster, and putting a capsule on top of that, with a man in it, to try to put a man in space. And of course at that time, the Atlas boosters were blowing up every other day down at Cape Canaveral. And it looked like a very, you know, a good way to have a short career. Alan Bean: I thought I had the best job in the world, from the day I entered flight training, until I looked on TV one day and Al Shepard goes up in a rocket. He's gone higher than I've ever gone, and faster than I've ever gone, and most importantly, he's made more noise doing it. He's even on TV doing it. How do I get that job? Alan Bean: When Tom Wolfe wrote "The Right Stuff," I thought, boy, that sounds good. People are gonna think I have the right stuff. I'm the same guy I always was, but now I've got the right stuff! Harrison Schmitt: It's sort of an unshakeable belief in your own infallibility. That's what the right stuff is. That you're immortal, that you can do anything that is thrown at you. Eugene Cernan: [about the Apollo 1 fire] The accident occurred in January, at the end of January, the 27th, and we're burying our guys at Arlington, and I wasn't sure if we were burying the entire Apollo program, or three of our, three of our buddies. Michael Collins: I think we were very aware of the situation in Vietnam, because a lot of our friends were flying airplanes in combat in Vietnam. And there would we have been, had we not been in the space program. Eugene Cernan: I guess I can sort of admit it now, I've admitted it a little bit to a few friends, I've always had a guilt complex, to some degree. That was my war, good or bad, whether it was a good war or a bad war, we're not discussing it, but that was my war, to fight for my country, and my buddies were getting shot at and shot down and in some cases captured, and I was getting my picture on the front page of the paper. And I've always felt that they fought my war for me. They look at it totally different. They said, "You were doing something that this country needed more than anything else at the time. You were part of a program, the only thing we had to hold our head high and be proud of." Alan Bean: One thing I know about Buzz, he's one of these guys that's a lot smarter than most of us. He had a nickname, Dr. Rendezvous. Michael Collins: He loves to talk about technical stuff, particularly rendezvous. I mean, he'll get this orbit going this way, and that orbit going the other way, and he really grooved on those things. Alan Bean: You didn't want to sit near him at a party, because he would start talking about rendezvous, and you would want to be talking about the good-looking girl across the room. He could care less. He wanted to talk about rendezvous, and he'd been talking to you about it all week long. Neil Armstrong: Tomorrow, we, the crew of Apollo 11, are privileged to represent the United States in our first attempt to take man to another heavenly body. Buzz Aldrin: I don't know why people who have not been on rockets continue to ask, "You're not scared?" No, we're not scared! Until something happens, then it's time to get scared. Charlie Duke: [referring to Apollo 16] I found out from the Flight Surgeon later on that my heartbeat was 144 at liftoff. John's was 70. John Young: Yeah. Well, I told him, I said, "Mine's too old to go any faster. Yeah." Charlie Duke: I was able to look out the window to see this incredible sight of the whole circle of the Earth. Oceans were crystal blue, the land was brown, and the clouds and the snow were pure white. And that jewel of Earth was just hung up in the blackness of space. Michael Collins: When the sun is shining on the surface at a very shallow angle, the craters cast long shadows and the Moon's surface seems very inhospitable, forbidding almost. I did not sense any great invitation on the part of the Moon for us to come into its domain. I sensed more almost a hostile place, a scary place. Neil Armstrong: Roger, Eagle's undocked. Charlie Duke: [as Apollo 11 CapCom] Roger, how does it look? Neil Armstrong: The Eagle has wings! Alan Bean: I always thought of myself as one of the more fearful astronauts, really. And when I'd look out the window of the spacecraft, I would think, if that window blows out, I'm gonna die in about a second. There's death right out there about an inch away. Charlie Duke: [discussing Neil Armstrong's "one small step" line] It was like Neil, but deeper than I thought that he would come up with. I wouldn't have had the self-control to do that. I'd have, to me, I'd have been jumping up and down, "Yahoo! Hey man, I'm here!" That's the kind of response that I think I would have had. But he was very, very controlled, and those words came out, and they were very appropriate and perfect. Buzz Aldrin: Here we were, on the surface, and I knew this is what people were watching. More people were watching us than had ever watched two humans being before in history, and yet we're further away! Not just in distance, but in things we've got to do to get back home. We've got to do some difficult things to get out of this desolate place, and get back home again. Jim Lovell: [discussing the Apollo 13 accident] We were in serious trouble. John Young: I thought, when I saw that oxygen system leaking down, I figured we'd lost them. I really did. I didn't think we'd make it. Jim Lovell: [discussing the Apollo 13 accident] It was a case of survival. And certainly landing on the Moon and surviving to see the next sunrise, it's two different things. And it wasn't until I got comfortably back on Earth, that I became very much disappointed in not making a landing on the Moon. Eugene Cernan: I hold the world speed record downhill, in a Rover. I think it was 17 kilometers per hour, downhill. Harrison Schmitt: I think even Gene Cernan, with all his test pilot macho, thought that was a little fast. Michael Collins: I kind of have two moons in my head, I guess, whereas most people just have one moon. I look at the moon just like everybody else who's never been there, and you know, there it is, and I've always thought it was interesting. Whether it's full or a sliver, or what have you. But every once in a while, I do think of a second moon, you know, the one that I recall from up close, and yeah, it is kind of hard to believe that I was actually up there. Eugene Cernan: [about being selected as an astronaut] One day, you're just Gene Cernan, young naval aviator, whatever. And the next day, you're an American hero. Literally. And you have done nothing. Jim Lovell: We changed our plans on Apollo 8. They changed the mission from an Earth orbital type to a flight to the Moon. And it was a bold move. It had some risky aspects to it. But it was a time when we made bold moves. Eugene Cernan: [referring to Apollo 17's liftoff] I had control of that vehicle right in the palm of my hands. If the guidance failed or started to stray or went somewhere we didn't like or the ground didn't like, I could flip a switch, and I could control seven, over seven and a half million pounds of thrust with this handle and fly the thing to the Moon myself. And I guarantee you, I had practiced it and trained for it so many times, I almost dared, I almost dared her to quit on me. Every breath she breathed, I breathed with her. She was, she was uniquely something special, and what a hell of a ride she gave us. Michael Collins: You go up into Earth orbit, and you go around the Earth once, and again that's a busy time, because you want to make sure that everything on board is working properly before you set sail for the Moon. And then you get the word you're go for TLI, and that means you can ignite the motor and head on off to the Moon. And you do. And you go. And that's it. [laughs] Eugene Cernan: In Earth orbit, the horizon's just slightly curved. When you head on out to the Moon, in very short order, and you get a chance to look back at the Earth, that horizon slowly curves around in upon himself, and all of sudden you're looking at something that is very strange, but yet is very, very familiar, because you're beginning to see the Earth evolve. Eugene Cernan: We went into darkness after being in daylight the whole time on the way to the Moon. And then we went into darkness. And we're in the shadow... of the Moon. Jim Lovell: [about the Apollo 13 accident] We were as calm as could be. We didn't panic. If we did, we'd still be up there. Charlie Duke: We were blowing lunar dust everywhere. It was like landing through the fog. Alan Bean: When you land on the Moon, and you stop, and you get out, nobody's out there. This little LM, and then two of you, you're it. On this whole big place. And that's a weird feeling. It's a weird feeling to be... two people, and that's it. John Young: [about driving the Lunar Rover] What really saves you up there is there's nobody coming down the road from the other way. Charlie Duke: The Moon was the most spectacularly beautiful desert you can ever imagine. Unspoiled, untouched. It had a vibrancy about it. And the contrast between the Moon and the black sky was so vivid and... it just made this impression, you know, of excitement and wonder. Jim Lovell: We learned a lot about the Moon, but what we really learned was about the Earth. The fact that just from the distance of the Moon, you can put your thumb up, and you can hide the Earth behind your thumb. Everything that you have ever known, your loved ones, your business, the problems of the Earth itself, all behind your thumb. And how insignificant we really all are. But then how fortunate we are to have this body, and to be able to enjoy living here amongst the beauty of the Earth itself.