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Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr.

Pete Conrad joined the U.S. Navy in 1953 after graduating from Princeton University and trained as a test pilot and flight instructor.  Selected as a member of the second group of NASA astronauts in 1962, Conrad flew on two Gemini missions and commanded Apollo 12, the second Moon landing.  Launching to the Skylab space station in 1973, he and his two crewmates first made repairs to the orbiting workshop to prevent overheating before they could complete the experimental work planned for their Skylab 2 mission.

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Charles "Pete" Conrad, Jr.

Chosen as a member of the second group of NASA astronauts in 1962, Pete Conrad flew four missions for the Gemini, Skylab, and Apollo programs and spent more than 1,200 hours in space.

Pete Conrad was well known among his fellow astronauts for his fun-loving personality and practical jokes. After hearing Neil Armstrong’s famous first words from the Moon about a “small step for man,” Conrad decided to express his personality in his first statement from the Moon during the Apollo 12 mission. As soon as he stepped on the Moon’s surface, he exclaimed, “Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me!”

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Astronaut Pete Conrad prepares for launch at Kennedy Space Center
Astronaut Charles Conrad Jr., commander of the Skylab 2 mission, is suited up in the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building at the Kennedy Space Center during Skylab 2 prelaunch preparations. Skylab 2, with astronauts Conrad, Joseph P. Kerwin and Paul J. Weitz aboard, was launched from KSC’s Pad B, Launch Complex 39, at 9:00 a.m. (EDT), May 25, 1973.
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