Alan Bean takes us behind the scenes of Conrad, Gordon and Bean – The Fantasy. “Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon and I were assigned to make one of the first moon landings. The most experienced astronaut was designated commander, in charge of all aspects of the mission, including flying the lunar module. Prudent thinking suggested that the next-most-experienced crew member be assigned to take care of the command module, since it was our only way back home. Pete Conrad had flown two Gemini flights, the second with Dick as his crewmate. This left the least experienced – me – to accompany the commander on the lunar surface.
“I was the rookie. I had not flown at all; yet I got the prize assignment. But not once during the three years of training which preceded our mission did Dick Gordon say that it wasn’t fair and that he wished he could walk on the moon, too. I do not have his unwavering discipline or strength of character.
“We often fantasized about Dick’s joining us on the moon but we never found a way. In my paintings, though, I can have it my way. Now, at last, our best friend has come the last sixty miles.”
Countersigners: astronauts Charles Conrad, Jr. and Richard F. Gordon, Jr.
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