Lunar High Five

Imaginative painting of Pete and Al jumping clear of the surface to slap upraised hands

Painting Completed 1997
19 x 16 inches, Acrylic on Aircraft Plywood

A walk on the Moon was everything I thought it was going to be...and more. But it was a fragile chain of good fortune that put Pete Conrad and me on the Ocean of Storms. The giant Saturn V performed almost flawlessly to get us into earth orbit. And the command and service module, our "home" to and from the Moon, checked out impeccably. On the way, both spacecraft remained spaceworthy (not at all like what happened on the next flight after ours, Apollo 13). Our service module engine provided thrust as advertised for course correction burns and to place us into lunar orbit.

After a good night's rest and donning our space suits, Pete Conrad and I checked all systems in the lunar module. Precise burns with our descent engine followed. The final maneuver was a powered descent from our orbital speed of 6,000 miles an hour to zero at touchdown on the Ocean of Storms. All critical systems had worked as predicted. We were on the Moon.

Being on the Ocean of Storms was not luck, but a result of careful and dedicated work by thousands or engineers and scientists back on planet Earth. We were so happy and excited about getting ready to do the productive work we had trained long and hard to do, that a high-five would have felt just right.