Pete Conrad on the Moon during the Apollo 12 mission.
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Courtesy of NASA

Charles 'Pete' Conrad Passes Away
News story originally written on July 12, 1999

Charles 'Pete' Conrad Jr. died on July 8, 1999, at a hospital in California because of a motorcycle accident. Conrad was 69 years old.

Conrad was most famous for his quote used when he first landed on the Moon. During Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong said this famous phrase, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." When he landed on the Moon during Apollo 12, the funny Conrad yelled, "Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that's a long one for me."

During the Apollo 12 mission which he commanded, Conrad spent many hours on the Moon's surface. He and astronaut Alan Bean collected lunar rocks and information from Surveyor 3, which had been on the Moon for 2 years. It was on that day, Nov.19, 1969, that Conrad became the third person to ever step onto the Moon. Other highlights of his life include the lightning strike that almost ended the Apollo 12 mission and his trip to Skylab.

Pete Conrad was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1930. He earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University in 1953 and entered the Navy. From there, Conrad joined the Gemini program, aimed at pushing the United States ahead of the Soviet Union in the race to the Moon. His last mission was to repair damages to Skylab. Conrad claims this to be his most difficult mission, but also his greatest success.

Conrad had a wife, Nancy, three sons and seven grandchildren.

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