Being an astronaut by default is a dangerous occupation. Groups like NASA have always placed safety first in their various off-world missions. However, accidents happen when you enter new territory in space. As the hype surrounding the 50th anniversary of the very first Apollo Moon landing grows, everyone takes a look back at these incredible missions, including a few astronauts who have recently spent time on the lunar surface.
In an interview with Business Insider Apollo 16-astronaut Charlie Duke, recalls one of the most frightening moments of his brief stay on the moon. An unfortunate fall put Duke's life at risk at the worst possible moment, and in the end he only had to accuse himself.
The story begins with Duke and Mission Commander John Young remaining on the lunar surface for just a few moments before retreating back to the lunar module. Not wanting to waste the precious minutes on another world, Duke decided to get involved in the so-called "Mondo Olympiads" and perform services that would be impossible on Earth.
Duke admitted that he "hopped around" doing his best to make a high jump by jumping off some feet from the lunar surface thanks to drastically reduced gravity. Unfortunately, the weight of his suit and life-support system on his back was too heavy, and he fell on his back at a potentially dangerous angle ̵
"The backpack weighed just like me. So I went backwards, "explained Duke. "It's a fiberglass shell that holds all your life support systems in. If it broke, I was dead."
Young finally helped Duke to his feet, and the shaken astronaut spent the next few seconds listening carefully to see if he could he had broken the pumps or other mechanisms that chugged inside his backpack to keep him alive, heard nothing out of the ordinary and no hiss that suggested a tear in his spacesuit, but he paid attention to it for his remaining moments Staying on the Moon on the Moon.
"I have learned a lesson," Herzog said. "Never do anything in outer space that you have not yet practiced. And we had not practiced the high jump. "