Questions you'd ask an Apollo moonwalker?

In a few weeks I am having dinner with one of the Apollo moonwalkers with the opportunity to ask a few questions. I want to make the most of this opportunity to learn something interesting. So what thoughtful questions would you ask if you had the chance?

I did a lesson with 10 and 11 year olds on almost this exact topic, the lesson was specifically Apollo 11 astronauts.

Some of their questions:

Did you pray whilst you were waiting on the launch pad?
Were you scared?
Did you miss your children?
What was the most impressive thing that you saw?
Did you worry that you wouldn’t be able to take off from the moon?
Did you tell your children where you were going?
Would you like to go back?
Was the sun brighter on the moon?

That’s all I can remember but the kids came up with some great questions and answers.

I like that one. It’s simple and I’ve never heard it before.

  1. Is the dust all meteorites and just under it is hard, un-weathered basalt?
  2. Did you try climbing sheer surfaces?
  3. Do you agree that Michael Jackson copied all his moves (including the moonwalk) from Bob Fosse?

When you walk barefoot on the moon, does it feel the same as walking on a beach?

How much porno did you bring on the trip and how far can you ejaculate in Moon gravity?

What agency was in charge of picking up the other half of the LEM so that the next mission could use it?

(from another SDMB thread)

Now that we’ve been there, do you think we should blow it up? :wink:

Do you practice that bouncing gait before you got there or did it just come naturally?
When were the most nervous during the mission?
What emotions did you experience seeing the Earth from that distance?

Colour me a very vibrant envious green.

Quite a few of the astronauts have written autobiographies, so you could do worse than check to see if the guy you will be dining with has one. Even if he doesn’t, it would be well worth reading one of the others. Curiously Michael Collins’ Carrying the Fire is one of the best, and he famously didn’t walk on the moon, but piloted the command module.

Finding out ahead of time what your moon walker has done in the last 40 years would be interesting too. Some stayed on with NASA, some resigned soon after Apollo. All bar one had military backgrounds. Many went on to captain industry. There will be a wide range of life experiences that came after Apollo - asking about how Apollo, and the experience of walking on the moon, affected and drove their later careers and attitudes would be very interesting.

What does he think ofBuzz Aldrin clocking that dude.

I think I’d like to hear more about the trip down and back up again in the lander.

I had the pleasure of dining with one of the Command Module pilots, Al Worden (Apollo 15) who spent a couple days circling the moon while his colleagues were on the surface. He kept us enthralled with stories and gracefully answered our questions. I doubt we asked him anything he hasn’t already answered 1000 times before over the last 40 or so years.

My recommendation is to ask a broad open ended question and let him tell the story. He will have it down to a fine art by now.

If it is a CM pilot, I’d love to know if they’re jealous that they did not walk on the moon.

Do you think we should go to Mars?

If it is a CM pilot, I’d love to know if he’s jealous that he did not walk on the moon.

Personally, I’d be interested in how he slept in the lunar module. I can’t imagine being on the moon and thinking “Yawn… I gotta get some rest here.”

Moved from General Questions to IMHO.

samclem, moderator

[li]What about walking on the moon was the most similar to your training?[/li][li]What about walking on the moon was the most different from your training?[/li][li]What were you least prepared for?[/li][/ul]

Which put more stress on your body physically, the launch or re-entry through the atmosphere?

Lion vs. Tiger in lunar gravity cagefight, who wins? or the Buzz Aldrin rt hook question, I never get tired of that.

If you’re looking for technical stuff, I can recommend Digital Apollo. It’s mostly about the human/machine interaction in the Apollo program, with background on the development and acceptance of electronic pilot aids. It includes a lot of information on the descent from lunar orbit; deceleration, pitch-over, designating a landing site, and then refining the landing solution as they got closer to the ground.

“Are you jealous that you didn’t get to punch Bart Sibrel?”

In your training and prep for your mission, what part was the most fun? What was the most boring/drab/mundane?

Considering all the redundant systems, backups, contingency plans, etc, what part of the entire mission, from blast off to splash down, has the smallest margin of safety?

In your astronaut career, what was the biggest challenge you faced?

What do you think of Obama?