Charles Moss Duke, Jr.

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Charliedukeonmoon.jpg
Astronaut Charles Duke on lunar surface, April 1972

Charles Moss Duke, Jr. (born October 3, 1935) a former NASA Astronaut commonly called Charlie Duke, is one of only twelve men who have walked on the moon.

Duke graduated from the Naval Academy in 1957 and joined the Air Force - after training, he served as a fighter interceptor pilot for three years at Ramstein Air Base. He graduated from Aerospace Research Pilot School in September 1965 and remained there as an instructor until being selected for NASA's fifth group of 19 astronauts in April 1966.

Duke served as Capcom for Apollo 11 and as a result his distinctive southern drawl became familiar to viewers around the world. He was backup lunar module pilot on Apollo 13 - shortly before the mission, he caught German measles from a friend's child. He had therefore exposed it to the prime crew, which resulted in Ken Mattingly being replaced by Jack Swigert, as Mattingly had no natural immunity to the disease.

In April 1972, Duke travelled to the Moon with John W. Young and Mattingly on Apollo 16. He and Young landed at the Descartes Highlands and conducted three EVAs. Duke was then the backup lunar module pilot on Apollo 17, and left NASA in December 1975.

He is currently the owner of Duke Investments, President of Charlie Duke Enterprises and Duke Ministry For Christ (having become a Christian lay witness). He is married to the former Dorothy Clairborne, with two children, Charles and Thomas.

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