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Pete Conrad

A Captain in U.S. Navy, Charles "Pete" Conrad flew on Gemini 5, Gemini 11, Apollo 12, and Skylab 2, accumulating more than 1,170 hours of space flight. He died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in July 1999.

On Apollo 12: "It may have been small for Neil but it was a big one for a little fella like me."
Well, nobody remembers the second and that was why I said what I said. It was based on a bet I had with somebody who felt that Neil's words had been propaganda and not written by him. And I tried to assure this person that that wasn't the case. And so it was in August of '69 before the fight when I made this bet: that I would say something that they would know that the United States government wasn't Big Brother telling us what to say. So I said, "It may have been small for Neil but it was a big one for a little fella like me" and it came out close to that. And I was right, nobody remembers what the second person said anyhow. And the only bad thing was the person that I made the bet with didn't pay off.

On Returning to the Moon: "It's not until we get into the commercial world where space begins to pay for itself that you're going to see these things go on."

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Well, I think that we can't ignore our energy problems down here and helium 3 is in great demand up there. There are all kinds of things I'm sure that people can think of that, when we bring the costs of getting into orbit and being able to go to the moon on a relatively economical basis, you can make it pay, it will be a commercial reason. Everybody forgets old Christopher Columbus didn't sail across the Atlantic for the good of all mankind. He sailed across to make a buck, and he was supported by a government that wanted to make a buck. And so it's not until we get into the commercial world where space begins to pay for itself that you're going to see these things go on. I don't believe taxpayers' dollars should pay for us to go back to the moon now. I do believe taxpayers' dollars should pay for things like going on to Mars and Mars exploration and all that sort of stuff. But we've got to get the commercial world really going and bring those costs of getting into orbit down. And really begin to use space and what you can gain from it in an economical manner.




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