La maquette grandeur nature du module Eagle d’Apollo 11, à bord duquel Neil Amstrong et Buzz Aldrin ont aluni.

Will we be able to handle this noble but dangerous mission? “You will be the first Europeans to go to the moon! », Adrien, our science instructor, had hammered in an emphatic voice a few minutes before takeoff. More than half a century after Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan, the last human beings to walk on the moon during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, it was up to us to set foot on the ground of Earth’s natural satellite.

In the lobby, with its dazzling gold visor, essential protection from the sun’s rays, an A7LB spacesuit recalled the glorious epic: between 1969 and 1972, six Apollo missions allowed twelve men to reach the surface. And come back, weighed down with 380 kg of stones and a little fine moon dust, regolith, sometimes inlaid under the nails. The Cité de l’espace thus offers its 400,000 annual visitors the privilege of examining a “Moonstone”, a basalt stone of 163 g, taken on 1is August 1971 during the Apollo 15 mission.

Take one last look out the porthole

But today it was our turn to think about the
“beautiful desolation” of the moon, according to the expression of one of the pioneers, Buzz Aldrin. After a detour through the briefing room where, via video, three astronauts from the European Space Agency (Esa), Thomas Pesquet, the Italian Samantha Cristoforetti and the German Matthias Maurer, as well as Claudie Haigneré, the first Frenchwoman in ‘space travel’,

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