How Many Apollo Astronauts Are Still Alive?

Seven of the Apollo astronauts who flew to the Moon are still alive. These surviving astronauts are a testament to the remarkable human endeavor of the Apollo space program.

At a Glance

  • The Apollo program was a significant milestone in space exploration, with 12 astronauts having walked on the Moon.
  • Out of these, the number of surviving astronauts who have journeyed to the Moon and returned is seven.
  • Apollo astronauts such as Buzz Aldrin and Charlie Duke are among the living members of this exclusive group.
  • The legacy of the Apollo missions continues to inspire questions and reflections on mankind’s spacefaring capabilities and future.
  • These surviving astronauts serve as links to the historic Apollo era, sharing their experiences and contributing to space exploration discourse.

1. Survivors of the Apollo Moon Missions

From Left Clockwise: Buzz Aldrin, David Scott, Harrison Schmitt and Charles Duke

The Apollo moon missions, which captivated the world during the late 1960s and early 1970s, have a decreasing number of surviving astronauts. As of 2023, the fraternity of those who have ventured to our celestial neighbor and back has diminished, particularly with the recent passing of Ken Mattingly, a command module pilot for the Apollo 16 mission. We acknowledge the advancing age of these historical figures, each of whom has made indelible contributions to space exploration.

Key takeaways

  • As of 2023, the number of surviving astronauts from the Apollo moon missions is declining.
  • There has been a recent loss in the Apollo community with the passing of Ken Mattingly from Apollo 16.
  • The surviving Apollo astronauts are becoming advanced in age, highlighting the urgency of preserving their stories and insights.

2. The Apollo Astronauts: Who Are Still With Us?

Among the storied ranks of Apollo astronauts, a few remaining lunar explorers continue to share their invaluable experiences with the world. **Buzz Aldrin**, the second man to set foot on the Moon, is perhaps the most well-known of these legends, continuing to advocate for space exploration. **David Scott**, who was the seventh man to walk on the lunar surface and the first to drive the Lunar Rover, also remains an active figure in the space community. **Charles Duke**, the youngest astronaut to walk on the Moon, maintains a presence through speaking engagements, inspiring new generations. Not to be overlooked, **Harrison Schmitt**, a geologist and the last of the Apollo astronauts to arrive on the Moon, continues to provide insight into the scientific impact of the Apollo program.

At a Glance

  • Buzz Aldrin, one of the most recognizable Apollo astronauts, remains a vocal proponent for the advancement of human space travel.
  • David Scott stays engaged with the space community and is noted for his technical contributions, including driving the Lunar Rover.
  • Charles Duke frequently shares his Apollo experience as a speaker, mentoring future space leaders.
  • Harrison Schmitt offers a unique perspective as the only scientist-astronaut of the Apollo missions, underlining the importance of scientific research in space exploration.

3. Questions and Reflections on Apollo’s Legacy

Public curiosity often surrounds the aging heroes of the Apollo program, leading to questions about not only the survival of these astronauts but also their enduring impacts on space exploration. Many wonder who is the oldest living astronaut—a title that changes as these pioneers continue to age. Interest also revolves around the crew members of the notable Apollo 13 mission, whose survival story is well-known. Beyond individuals, there’s a broader reflection on how the achievements and experiences of the Apollo astronauts influence and inspire current ambitions, such as NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the Moon.

Things to Know

  • The survival and health of Apollo astronauts pique public curiosity, as these individuals represent a living connection to a bygone era of space exploration.
  • The oldest living astronaut from the Apollo missions often captures public interest, representing the invaluable historical knowledge preserved with these individuals.
  • The Apollo 13 crew, known for their “successful failure” mission, remain an emblem of human perseverance and ingenuity in the face of adversity.
  • The Apollo missions have a lasting impact, setting the stage for current plans to return to the Moon and explore further into space.