NOORDWIJK, Netherlands (ESA PR) — Having spent much of the 21st century developing planetary defence techniques, Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart is a strong supporter of ESA’s proposed Hera mission. In general, when it comes to asteroid deflection, he says, two spacecraft are better than one.
As NASA celebrates the 50th anniversary of manned Apollo flights leading to the first moon landing in July 1969, the number of astronauts from the program is slowly dwindling away.
Of the 29 men who flew in the Apollo lunar program, 15 are still alive while 14 others have passed away. When the Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz programs are included, there are 21 Apollo-era astronauts still with us while 17 have died.
Schweickart’s epiphany had brought home to him the futility of war and the wasted resources and lives spent defending lines marking nations which he wasn’t even aware of from his privileged vantage point. He wrote that he wished he could “take a person in each hand, one from each side in the various conflicts, and say, ‘Look. Look at it from this perspective. Look at that. What’s important?'”