First Words spoken on the Moon by the Apollo Astronauts

(1 April 2011)


Apollo Lunar Surface Journal by Eric M. Jones and Ken Glover

NOTE: Technically, the first words spoken on the moon during each landing was “Contact Light!” when the LEM probes touched the surface.

Two problems I faced while putting this list together were:

Neil Armstrong (Apollo 11):

Standing on LEM Footpad: I'm at the foot of the ladder. The LM footpads are only depressed in the surface about 1 or 2 inches, although the surface appears to be very, very fine grained, as you get close to it. It's almost like a powder. Ground mass is very fine. I'm going to step off the LM now.
Standing on Moon: That's one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind.

Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr (Apollo 11):

Standing on LEM Footpad: Magnificent desolation.
Standing on Moon: Looks like the secondary strut had a little thermal effects on it right here, Neil.

Charles E. Conrad, Jr (Apollo 12)

Standing on LEM Footpad: Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that's a long one for me. I'm going to step off the pad.
Standing on Moon: Mark. Oooh, is that soft and queasy. Hey, that's neat. I don't sink in too far.

Alan Bean (Apollo 12)

Descending the Ladder: Boy, the LM looks nice on the outside.
Standing on the Moon: Okay. My, that Sun is bright.

Alan B. Shepard (Apollo 14)

Descending the Ladder: Starting down the ladder.
Standing on the Moon: Okay, you're right. Al is on the surface. And it's been a long way, but we're here.

Edgar D. Mitchell (Apollo 14)

Descending the Ladder: Al, I'm starting out, and it's very great to be coming down.
Standing on the LEM Footpad: That last one is a long one. Ascent check. Very easy to do. A little push and just spring right up.
Standing on the Moon: He's releasing it now. [This is in reference to Shepard releasing the MET.]

Dave Scott (Apollo 15)

Standing on the Moon: Okay, Houston. As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I sort of realize there's a fundamental truth to our nature. Man must explore.

Jim Irwin (Apollo 15)

Standing on the Moon: Boy, that front pad is really loose, isn't it? [Reference to him almost falling off the ladder as he took a big jump down]

John Young (Apollo 16)

Standing on the Moon: There you are: Mysterious and Unknown Descartes. Highland plains. Apollo 16 is gonna change your image. I'm sure glad they got ol' Brer Rabbit, here, back in the briar patch where he belongs.

Charlie Duke (Apollo 16)

Stepping onto the Moon: Fantastic! Oh, that first foot on the lunar surface is super, Tony!

Eugene Cernan (Apollo 17)

Descending the Ladder: Okay, Houston. The Commander is about three quarters of the way down.
Standing on the LEM Footpad: I'm on the footpad. And, Houston, as I step off at the surface at Taurus-Littrow, we'd like to dedicate the first step of Apollo 17 to all those who made it possible.
Standing on the Moon: Jack, I'm out here. Oh, my golly! Unbelievable! Unbelievable; but is it bright in the Sun. Okay! We landed in a very shallow depression. That's why we've got a slight pitch-up angle...very shallow, dinner-plate-like, dish crater just about the width of the struts. How you doing, Jack?

Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17)

Descending the Ladder/On Footpad/On Moon: Hey, who's been tracking up my lunar surface?