More from the GMTA department

James Oberg writes that we may soon see a time where no living human has been on the moon.

Its a thought I’ve had for quite a while now (not that there is anything super special or original about it). Given the mention Oberg’s mention, here is a run down of everyone who has been to the moon. (for the purposes of this, I’ll be conservative and count people who have orbited the moon as having been to the moon)

Exactly 12 men have walked on the moon and exactly 12 men have orbited the moon without walking on it. There are exactly 9 left in each category. The “youngest” is 68, and pretty much everyone else is in their 70s.

The clock is running. As a group, they have all aged well. That is to be expected as they were chosen in part because their fitness. The question is, when will the last one die, and will humans go back before the last one kicks the bucket?

Given the advances in medical technology and their longevity as a group, its reasonable to expect at least one to reach the age of 100. So we can assume there will be one guy in the club left by 2035. The question then is, will the last survivor be around to see the next guy set foot?

If we include the group of guys who orbited the moon, its much more probable. Orbiting the moon is much easier than landing and coming back. We could probably do it in 5 years if we have the will, and the cost would be a fraction of landing. The Chinese could do it too. They’ve talked about it and it would be a big prestige thing for them, especially considering the Russians never were able to do it.

Here is an even better question (especially for me): will I be around to see it? I was born exactly one month after Apollo 11 returned to Earth. I was among the first humans born who never knew a time where we hadn’t been on the moon. That I something I’d like to see, as I really dont’ remember the first time. (I do remember watching some footage of Skylab on TV however, and and vividly remember watching photos from the Viking lander in 1976).

Anyway, I wouldn’t put any of these guys in your dead pool for at least a few decades.

Name Mission Age/Death Moon Role<br /> Aldrin, Buzz Apollo 11 74 Walked<br /> Armstrong, Neil Apollo 11 73 Walked<br /> Bean Alan Apollo 12 72 Walked<br /> Cernan, Eugene Apollo 10, 17 70 Walked<br /> Conrad, Charles Apollo 12 1999 Walked<br /> Duke, Charles Apollo 16 68 Walked<br /> Irwin, James Apollo 15 1991 Walked<br /> Mitchell, Edgar Apollo 14 73 Walked<br /> Schmitt, Harrison Apollo 17 69 Walked<br /> Scott, David Apollo 15 72 Walked<br /> Shepard, Alan Apollo 14 1998 Walked<br /> Young, John Apollo 10, 16 73 Walked</p> <p>Anders, William Apollo 8 71 Orbited<br /> Borman, Frank Apollo 8 76 Orbited<br /> Collins, Michael Apollo 11 74 Orbited<br /> Evans, Ronald Apollo 17 1990 Orbited<br /> Gordon, Richard Apollo 12 74 Orbited<br /> Haise, Fred Apollo 13 70 Orbited<br /> Lovell, James Apollo 8, 13 76 Orbited<br /> Mattingly, Ken Apollo 16 68 Orbited<br /> Roosa, Stewart Apollo 14 1994 Orbited<br /> Stafford, Thomas Apollo 10 73 Orbited<br /> Swigert, Jack Apollo 13 1982 Orbited<br /> Worden, Alfred Apollo 15 72 Orbited </plaintext></p> </div><!-- .entry-content --> </div><!-- .post-inner --> <div class="section-inner"> <div class="author-bio"> <div class="author-title-wrapper"> <div class="author-avatar vcard"> <img alt='' src=';d=mm&#038;r=g' srcset=';d=mm&#038;r=g 2x' class='avatar avatar-160 photo' height='160' width='160' decoding='async'/> </div> <h2 class="author-title heading-size-4"> By Gary </h2> </div><!-- .author-name --> <div class="author-description"> <p>3 dimples. 7 continents. 130 countries.</p> <a class="author-link" href="" rel="author"> View Archive <span aria-hidden="true">&rarr;</span> </a> </div><!-- .author-description --> </div><!-- .author-bio --> </div><!-- .section-inner --> <nav class="pagination-single section-inner" aria-label="Post"> <hr class="styled-separator is-style-wide" aria-hidden="true" /> <div class="pagination-single-inner"> <a class="previous-post" href=""> <span class="arrow" aria-hidden="true">&larr;</span> <span class="title"><span class="title-inner">Dee &#038; A</span></span> </a> <a class="next-post" href=""> <span class="arrow" aria-hidden="true">&rarr;</span> <span class="title"><span class="title-inner">My aching back</span></span> </a> </div><!-- .pagination-single-inner --> <hr class="styled-separator is-style-wide" aria-hidden="true" /> </nav><!-- .pagination-single --> <div class="comments-wrapper section-inner"> <div class="comments" id="comments"> <div class="comments-header section-inner small max-percentage"> <h2 class="comment-reply-title"> 2 replies on &ldquo;More from the GMTA department&rdquo; </h2><!-- .comments-title --> </div><!-- .comments-header --> <div class="comments-inner section-inner thin max-percentage"> <div id="comment-230" class="comment even thread-even depth-1"> <article id="div-comment-230" class="comment-body"> <footer class="comment-meta"> <div class="comment-author vcard"> <a href="" rel="external nofollow" class="url"><img alt='' src=';d=mm&#038;r=g' class='avatar avatar-120 photo' height='120' width='120' /><span class="fn">Nathan Dintenfass</span><span class="screen-reader-text says">says:</span></a> </div><!-- .comment-author --> <div class="comment-metadata"> <a href=""><time datetime="2004-08-01T10:57:58-06:00">8/1/2004 at 10:57 am</time></a> </div><!-- .comment-metadata --> </footer><!-- .comment-meta --> <div class="comment-content entry-content"> <p>Seems there is still a slot open for the first woman to go to the moon.</p> <p>I wonder &#8212; if the Chinese were to orbit the moon, would there be renewed interest in the US to do such things?</p> </div><!-- .comment-content --> </article><!-- .comment-body --> </div><!-- #comment-## --> <div id="comment-231" class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1"> <article id="div-comment-231" class="comment-body"> <footer class="comment-meta"> <div class="comment-author vcard"> <img alt='' src=';d=mm&#038;r=g' class='avatar avatar-120 photo' height='120' width='120' /><span class="fn">Gary</span><span class="screen-reader-text says">says:</span> </div><!-- .comment-author --> <div class="comment-metadata"> <a href=""><time datetime="2004-08-01T21:06:36-06:00">8/1/2004 at 9:06 pm</time></a> </div><!-- .comment-metadata --> </footer><!-- .comment-meta --> <div class="comment-content entry-content"> <p>I think so. I also think you&#8217;d see a lot of American&#8217;s rooting for the Chinese.</p> </div><!-- .comment-content --> </article><!-- .comment-body --> </div><!-- #comment-## --> </div><!-- .comments-inner --> </div><!-- comments --> <hr class="styled-separator is-style-wide" aria-hidden="true" /> <div class="comment-respond" id="respond"> <p class="comments-closed">Comments are closed.</p> </div><!-- #respond --> </div><!-- .comments-wrapper --> </article><!-- .post --> </main><!-- #site-content --> <footer id="site-footer" class="header-footer-group"> <div class="section-inner"> <div class="footer-credits"> <p class="footer-copyright">&copy; 2024 <a href="">Garaphernalia 7.5</a> </p><!-- .footer-copyright --> <p class="powered-by-wordpress"> <a href=""> Powered by WordPress </a> </p><!-- .powered-by-wordpress --> </div><!-- .footer-credits --> <a class="to-the-top" href="#site-header"> <span class="to-the-top-long"> To the top <span class="arrow" aria-hidden="true">&uarr;</span> </span><!-- .to-the-top-long --> <span class="to-the-top-short"> Up <span class="arrow" aria-hidden="true">&uarr;</span> </span><!-- .to-the-top-short --> </a><!-- .to-the-top --> </div><!-- .section-inner --> </footer><!-- #site-footer --> <script> /(trident|msie)/i.test(navigator.userAgent)&&document.getElementById&&window.addEventListener&&window.addEventListener("hashchange",function(){var t,e=location.hash.substring(1);/^[A-z0-9_-]+$/.test(e)&&(t=document.getElementById(e))&&(/^(?:a|select|input|button|textarea)$/i.test(t.tagName)||(t.tabIndex=-1),t.focus())},!1); </script> </body> </html>