Getting to the Moon was a fantastic achievement, and the technology was amazing. It also had the added complication of involving human beings.
At the time, the astronauts and rocket engineers were often portrayed as almost superhuman. In reality, they were just as flawed as the rest of us, so not everything that happened fitted in with NASA’s corporate image and public relations plan.
10. Images Of Playboy Playmates Were Flown To The Moon
Alan Bean and Pete Conrad were about two and a half hours into the second moon walk of Apollo 12, when Bean turned the next page of his checklist book. He saw something he was not expecting.
On the one page was the usual list of tasks, but on the facing page was a topless young lady smiling up at him. To be precise, he was looking at a picture of Miss December 1968 from Playboy magazine. A caption had been added: “Don’t forget—describe the protuberances.”
Conrad had one of his own, and each astronaut also found a second playboy picture later in the checklist books. The additions had been made by Dave Scott, the back-up commander, and the books also contained some cartoons by Ernie Reyes, head of NASA pre-flight operations.
The two astronauts said nothing; they knew that their every word was being recorded, and American taxpayers (or at least some of them) did not appreciate practical jokes being part of the multi-billion-dollar moon landing effort. They did, however, both start to giggle. In fact, Conrad and Bean were having such a good time, laughing so often, that some on Earth worried that they might be suffering some kind of “space rapture. ”