HOUSTON: Laughter and excited chuckles drifted down from the moon over a colour television link today [Nov 19] as Apollo-12 astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean began a three-and-a-half-hour exploration after a pinpoint landing. Conrad climbed down from Intrepid, the Lunar Module, to become the third man to set foot on the moon at 11:44 GMT (4:44 p.m. WPST).

Humming happily, he moved around collecting soil samples and, with a merry “Dum de Dum de Da,” tied the sample bag to a line thrown to haul up and stow inside Intrepid. “I feel great,” the spaceman kept saying. Bean joined him on the moon half an hour later, lowering his visor against the dazzling sunlight and exclaiming with delight at the sight of shining glass beads sparkling on the lunar ground.

... The spacemen, excited and fascinated by what they saw on the lunar surface, had to be constantly reminded by Ground Control that time was running out and that they should “get a hustle on”.

Lingering to pick up a last rock or photograph an unusual mound or crater, the spacemen muttered “wish we had more rocks, wish we had more rocks”.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2019