Of all the astronauts that have been to space, most people, when asked, can give the names of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. We know both of these men as the crew members of Apollo 11, and we know them as the first men on the Moon. While these men may have been the first people who walked on the moon, they are certainly not the last. Then we may ask, “How many people have walked on the Moon?”
Since the landing of Apollo 11 in 1969, a total of twelve (12) astronauts have walked on the Moon. After Armstrong and Aldrin, more astronauts were sent to the Moon in Apollo 12, also in 1969. The two astronauts from Apollo 12 were Pete Conrad and Alan Bean. Both of these men were on the Moon for two days.
Then, in 1971, NASA sent more astronauts to the Moon in Apollo 14. These two men were Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell. The purpose of their visit to the Moon was to help further study of moon quakes, which means they they carried around instruments on the Moon with them.
Apollo 15 carried the next set of astronauts to the Moon. Of the crew, David Scott and James Irwin walked on the Moon’s surface, and they stayed on it for three days. They did not spend the entire three days outside; rather, they spend nearly 19 hours in total walking or riding on the surface of the Moon. While on the Moon, they also gathered rocks as samples for study.
In April, 1972, Apollo 16 was sent to space. From this mission, John Young and Charles Duke were able to walk on the Moon’s surface. The pair was able to go on three Moonwalks during their stay in space.
Following these two men were the two astronauts of Apollo 17. This mission, which occurred in 1972, allowed Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt to walk on the surface of the Moon. They managed to walk on the Moon three separate times during their time on our rocky companion, which lasted a total of three days.
Unfortunately, after the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, there have been no more astronauts to the Moon.
You may notice that Apollo 13 is missing from this history. This is due to an accident that happened during its launch. A few days after launching, an explosion of a tank on the rocket caused the crew to eject themselves from the spacecraft and escape death. Due to this accident, they were unable to make to the surface of the Moon.
While it seems like each Apollo mission only carried two people to the Moon, since two astronauts walked on the Moon for each mission, the Apollo missions actually carried more crew members than just two people. Each Apollo mission carried three astronauts in total.
When looking at the history of the Apollo missions, we can see that a total of 12 people have walked on the Moon’s surface. While more than 12 astronauts have been to the moon, not all had the opportunity to walk on the Moon’s surface.