NASA Artemis astronauts are ‘made of the same stuff’ as the Apollo generation


Amy Ross, a spacesuit engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, left, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, second from left, watch as Kristine Davis, a spacesuit engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, wearing a ground prototype of NASA’s new Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU), and Dustin Gohmert, Orion Crew Survival Systems Project Manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, wearing the Orion Crew Survival System suit, right, wave after being introduced by the administrator, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The xEMU suit improves on the suits previous worn on the Moon during the Apollo era and those currently in use for spacewalks outside the International Space Station and will be worn by first woman and next man as they explore the Moon as part of the agency’s Artemis program. The Orion suit is designed for a custom fit and incorporates safety technology and mobility features that will help protect astronauts on launch day, in emergency situations, high-risk parts of missions near the Moon, and during the high-speed return to Earth. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

This is an excerpt from an original story I wrote for MailOnline based on an interview with science writer and author of A Man on the Moon. The full article is available on the Daily Mail website.

It is an excerpt of: NASA’s 13 astronauts selected to return to the moon in 2024 are ‘made of the same stuff’ as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, expert claims

Astronauts of the Artemis era, heading back to the moon this decade, are ‘made of the same stuff’ as the early Apollo adventurers, says the man who wrote the book on the first human lunar landings.

A Man on the Moon was first published in 1994 and tells the story of the real life adventurers that set foot on the surface of the moon for NASA.

This includes the 12 men who actually stepped on the moon, those remaining in the capsule in lunar orbit and the engineers and support crew who made it possible. 

A new edition of this work, spread over two volumes and complete with dozens of sensational images, has been published by the Folio Society.

Author Andrew Chaikin spent a decade speaking to 23 of the 24 astronauts who travelled to the moon, and told MailOnline they were all very different people.

However, they all shared some common traits including ‘intelligence, courage, ingenuity, a desire to be the best, and most of all, a burning commitment to accomplish whatever mission they are given.’ 

Chaikin, who personally selected all the images for the stunning new edition with his wife Victoria, says the new Artemis generation astronauts share the same traits.

Chaikin, who sat down for long periods of time to better understand the first men on the moon, said it is unlikely trips to our natural satellite will become commonplace anytime soon, telling MailOnline ‘the moon is still very much a frontier.’

For now the moon will remain the domain of the men and women of NASA, ESA and other international space agencies, taking that one small step for all of humanity. 

The early explorers, stepping food on another world for the first time as part of the NASA Apollo program, were motivated by a chance to carry out a mission of national importance, Chaikin told MailOnline.

One that ‘would directly bear on America’s prestige in the world, and would also have the potential to inspire the world.’ 

‘And, of course, they had the kind of courage and faith in their abilities you must have to climb on top of an enormous rocket and ride it away from your home planet, with no guarantee you’ll get back,’ he added.

Chaiken, an American science journalist, also worked on the the Viking program for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory while studying geology.  

His pivotal work, A Man on the Moon, was first published in 1994 to tell the story of a generation of men who went where nobody had gone before. 

He spoke to astronauts who ventured to space on Apollo’s eight through to 17 and got a picture of the achievements, heartbreak and celebrations in their own words.    

The novel formed the basis of the 1998 miniseries From Earth to the Moon produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Tom Hanks. 

A paperback version of the novel was published in 2007 by Penguin Books, with a re-issue in 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 that saw Neil Armstrong become the first human to step foot on another world. 

The latest version of the novel is a beautifully bound Folio version, published in two fully illustrated volumes by the Folio Society.

Featuring personally selected images from the Apollo era and a foreword by Tom Hanks, the Folio Society edition of a Man in the Moon brings this classic tale of real world adventure and exploration to a whole new level – and generation.

Chaikin told MailOnline in an exclusive interview: ‘It was a great opportunity to revisit the book and take the storytelling to a new level with the addition of the astronauts’ incredible photographs.’

The Folio Society two-volume edition of Andrew Chaikin’s A Man on the Moon, including a new preface by the author and never before seen photographs, is available exclusively from

This is an excerpt from an original story I wrote for MailOnline based on an interview with science writer and author of A Man on the Moon. The full article is available on the Daily Mail website.

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