Being an astronaut by default is a dangerous occupation. Groups like NASA have always placed safety first in their various off-world missions, but accidents happen as you break new ground in space.
As the hype surrounding the 50th anniversary of the very first Apollo moon landing grows, it's all looking back on these incredible missions, including some of the astronauts who spent some time on the lunar surface.
In an interview with Business Insider, Apollo-16 astronaut Charlie Duke remembers one of the most frightening moments of his brief stay in the Moon. An unfortunate fall endangered Herzog's life at the worst moment and he ultimately 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 to the Lunar Module. Not wanting to waste the precious minutes on another world, Duke decided to take part in the so-called "Mondo Olympiads" and perform services that would be impossible on Earth.
Duke, who admits he "hops around", did his best to perform a high jump and launched himself several feet away 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 – and the vital systems in his backpack.
"The backpack weighed as much as I did. So I went backwards, "explained Duke. "It's a fiberglass shell that holds all your life support systems in. When it broke, I was dead."
Young helped Duke finally to his feet, and the shaken astronaut spent the next few seconds listening carefully to see if he could Pumps or other mechanisms that chugged in his backpack to keep him alive, he did not hear anything out of the ordinary and no hissing that suggested a tear in his spacesuit, but he paid attention to it for his remaining moments on the moon
"I have learned a lesson," said Duke, "Never do anything in outer space that you have not practiced before.
And we had not practiced the high jump. "