Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Apollo 12 prime crew
Apollo 12 launched on November 14, 1969. Its prime crew was: Charles "Pete" Conrad, Commander; Dick Gordon, Command Module Pilot; and Al Bean, Lunar Module Pilot. Conrad was making his third trip into space and Gordon his second. Conrad flew on Gemini V with Gordon Cooper (another Gordon!); Conrad and [Dick] Gordon flew together in 1966 on Gemini XI. This was Bean's first spaceflight. He was was head astronaut for the Apollo Applications Project (later Skylab). He was moved into the Apollo 9 backup role (putting him in line for Apollo 12 prime crew) after astronaut Clifton "C.C." Williams was killed in a plane crash. Conrad, who had been Bean's flight instructor, personally requested Bean on the crew. So, this was a tight, friendly, and fun-loving crew of Navy pilots. If I could have tagged along on any mission, this crew would easily have been the most fun to be with.