Monday 22 September 2014

Charles Duke’s second voyage to Ivanhoe

On Tuesday 16 September Ivanhoe Grammar School welcomed a very special guest, Apollo 16 astronaut General Charles Duke accompanied by wife Dorothy.

In 1972, Duke, then 37, became the tenth and youngest man to walk on the moon as part of the NASA Apollo 16 mission. He spent three days on the moon, collecting samples and conducting experiments.

Mr Duke spent the morning speaking to students about his time on the moon, the preparation and hard work required to get there and the impact it’s had on his life since returning to Earth. He also answered questions from students about travelling at 40,000 kilometres per hour and if he was allowed to keep any moon samples. Duke said he was impressed by the intelligence of the students’ questions during his visit. “Most of the questions I get are ‘what’s it like on the moon?’ and ‘how do you go to the bathroom?’, but these were questions of a more deep nature,” Duke said. “When they ask (what it was like on the moon) what they want to know is what my emotions were and they were excitement, wonder and adventure.”

After the presentation concluded, Mr Duke helped Year 10 Science students launch one of two rockets they made.

As one of only twelve people to walk on the moon, Mr Duke has a very unique story to share and the students were inspired by his presentation to set goals for their own lives and take advantage of all the opportunities they are given.

Reverend Warwick Grant, our School Chaplain, organised the visit and said Duke was one of just eight surviving moonwalkers and it was important for younger generations to learn from them while they could.