Thursday, May 23, 2024

RIP Dr. Edgar Mitchell

Sadly, this past weekend, West Palm Beach lost an extraordinary man, Dr. Edgar Mitchell. Back in 2009, Boca Mag spoke with Mitchell about how it felt to go to the moon. Here’s what he had to say:

How does it feel to go to the moon?

Dr. Edgar Mitchell 

Apollo 14 astronaut and the sixth man to walk on the moon (February 1971)

We call Earth the blue and white marble, due to the clouds and atmosphere. From space, you see the darker land masses, the dark green forests, the sandy colors of deserts. You also see the little atmosphere that protects Earth from incoming particles and provides us air to breathe. It’s amazingly thin when you see it from outside—just a finger’s width, as it were.

The surface of the moon is like exceptionally fine talcum powder, but dark gray—basalt rock that came from inside of the moon as lava flow and was broken up by billions of years of meteor impact and small particle impact. If you scuff it up, the particles shoot out in straight, little Newtonian trajectories.

Walking on the moon is like walking on a trampoline—but with two snowsuits on because of the pressure suit that astronauts wear. You kind of bounce. You’re not heavy, because the gravitation is one-sixth of what it is on Earth, but it’s very hard to move your arms.

We [astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa and Mitchell, 78, who is the only surviving member of the crew] were almost in the center of the moon as you look at it from Earth. So Earth was almost directly overhead. In order to see Earth, we had to hold on to part of the spacecraft and lean way back to look directly above.

On the way home—after seeing the Earth, the moon, the sun, the solar system and the star system from this different perspective—I had an epiphany. From studying astronomy, I knew that our molecules were manufactured in some ancient generation of stars. And that provided a sense of oneness, of unity. And it was accompanied by ecstasy. I felt a bliss that was utterly unimaginable. I’d never had such an experience.

People ask me if I think there is life on other planets. Absolutely. They have already found us. We have been visited. The so-called “Roswell incident” in 1947? Some of us know that it’s real. But it has been covered up by the powers that be. It’s slowly starting to open up after more than 61 years. 

Old-timers, who were around during the incident, wanted to tell me their stories before they passed on. I took their stories to the Pentagon and requested a briefing. Very high-level officers said, “You’re right.”

That’s all I’ll say on that topic.

We’ve got about 2 billion years before our sun burns out. So we have to be off of this planet if our species is going to survive. In due course, we will go to Mars, provided we don’t blow ourselves up with stupidities in the meantime. And when we go to Mars, and we look back at this tiny planet we call Earth, it’ll sound kind of foolish to say, “I came from the United States or Germany or Israel or Russia.”

No. “I came from Earth.” And we’re hardly ready to do that yet. We have to get past our insanities. 

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