Happy Mutants
1999, All Rights Reserved.
People We Like

Appollo 12

  • Pete Conrad
  • Al Bean
  • Other Guy


Pete Conrad

by erik

On 8 July 1999, Pete Conrad died, riding his motorcycle, at the age of 69. Nearly 30 years ago, he became the third man to walk on the moon.

About all I know of Pete Conrad comes from the Tom Hanks/HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. Episode 7, "That's All There Is," is about Appollo 12, the second successful moon mission, and the great contrast between its goofy crew and the somber crew of Appollo 11.

  • ? as Pete Conrad
  • Dave Foley as Al Bean
  • ? as the Other Guy


I really like the miniseries, and Episode 7 is one of my favorites. Dave Foley shined as Al Bean, narrating with a wonderful nonchalance.

As much as the miniseries excited me about space travel, I have a feeling that what I can learn from Pete Conrad will excite me even more. From the press releases concerning his death, I've already learned enough to want to find out all I can about Pete Conrad.

I already know from the miniseries that the three Appollo 12 astronauts bought themselves matching convertibles, with their mission roles (e.g., Mission Commander) printed on the doors, and that Pete Conrad's words, upon stepping onto the moon were, "Whoopee! That may have been one small step for Neil, but it was a big one for me!" The astronauts had a fun time on the way to the moon, listening to pop music (The Archies) and joking around.

Pete Conrad had a serious side, too, of course. It's just that he had a lot of fun doing the serious stuff. The press releases report on his enthusiasm for mission goals and experiments. He flew on two Gemini missions, and later manned Skylab, before moving on to private industry.

In recent years, he came back to the space industry, working to create a privatized space program. There are quite a few companies out there now, working on reusable space vehicles, and trying to make space exploration possible through industry. Pete Conrad was greatly excited by the promise of this, and looked forward to his return to space. On the announcement of Senator John Glenn's return to space at age 77, Conrad remarked that he couldn't wait until he turned 77, too, so he could go back.

Best Episodes of From the Earth to the Moon
  • Episode 4 "Spider
  • Episode 7 "That's All There Is
  • Episode 8 (Appollo 13 from the view of the media
  • I hear Episode 12 is good, but I haven't seen it yet
too many actors, too many colors