The five playboy playmates who went to the Moon: How x-rated photos were secretly added to Apollo 12 astronauts’ suits as a JOKE on pioneering mission
- The Apollo 12 landings took place in November 1969 just four months after the successful Apollo 11 mission
- Dave Scott, a reserve astronaut secretly attached lewd images of playboy playmates to the spacesuits
- Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad and Alan Bean only noticed the naked pictures when they were on the Moon’s surface
These are the four playboy playmates who went to the Moon thanks to a surprising prank from a reserve astronaut on the Apollo 12 mission.
Few people remember the mission, which took place just four months after the initial Apollo 11 landing in November 1969.
And very few people are aware that the astronauts secretly carried naked ladies as they explored the lunar landscape.
The lewd images were strapped to the wrists of the astronauts’ space suits by a mischievous backup commander.
A Playboy playmate is seen strapped to Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad’s wrist. The pictures were attached to the space suits by Dave Scott, a reserve astronaut
A Playboy playmate inserted into the astronaut’s wrist-mounted checklist. Pictured: Leslie Bianchini, Miss January 1969 with the caption ‘SURVEY – HER ACTIVITY,’ in pun of Surveyor
Since the astronauts only had a limited time on the surface of the moon, they needed the checklists to tell them where to go in stages. Appearing in Conrad’s checklist was Angela Dorian, Miss September 1967 with the caption ‘SEEN ANY INTERESTING HILLS & VALLEYS ?’
The prank was carried out by Dave Scott, a reserve astronaut who would have taken the place of any crew who couldn’t take part in the mission.
He inserted black-and-white photocopied Playmate portraits into the detailed arm-based mission checklists the spacemen worked from.
It was not until astronauts Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad and Alan Bean explored the lunar surface that they discovered the saucy insertions.
Later, in an interview with Playboy, Bean explained: ‘It was about two and a half hours into the extravehicular activity, I flipped the page over and there she was.
I hopped over to where Pete was and showed him mine, and he showed me his.’
The crew thought it best to keep the whole jape secret in case they got into trouble.
Back on Earth, Conrad put the images on restricted access to prevent them from finding their way into the hands of the press.
Bean added: ‘We giggled and laughed so much that people accused us of being drunk or having ‘space rapture.”
A photo of Reagan Wilson, Miss October 1967 with the caption ‘PREFERRED TETHER PARTNER,’ referring to a special procedure that would require the sharing of life support resources
The photos in Bean’s cuff checklist were of Cynthia Myers, Miss December 1968, with the caption ‘DON’T FORGET – DESCRIBE THE PROTUBERANCES’
Apollo 12: The forgotten mission
The primary mission objectives of the second crewed lunar landing included an extensive series of lunar exploration tasks by the lunar module, or LM, crew, as well as the deployment of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package, or ALSEP, which was to be left on the moon’s surface to gather seismic, scientific and engineering data throughout a long period of time.
Apollo 12 launched from Cape Kennedy on Nov. 14, 1969, into a cloudy, rain-swept sky.
The spacecraft was boosted into space atop a Saturn V rocket.
After confirming that there was no damage from lightning strikes during the launch, the crew proceeded with the mission as planned.
The post-flight evaluation of the mission was that all mission goals had been successfully completed.
The astronauts said they didn’t mention the pictures because they thought the tax-paying public wouldn’t want porn discussed during such an important scientific endeavour.
All of their comments were being broadcast live across the nation.
The pictures of Angela Dorian and Reagan Wilson were accompanied by cheeky comments like ‘seen any interesting hills and valleys?’, ‘preferred tether partner’ and ‘survey – her activity’.
Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the Apollo programme and the second to land on the Moon.
Today, NASA includes the images in its historic archives, with straightforward titles like ‘Playmate No. 1,’ ‘Playmate No. 2,’ and so on.
The backup crew who did this later flew to the Moon themselves on Apollo 15. At the back of Conrad’s checklist they had also prepared two pages of complex geological terminology, added as a joke to give him the option to sound to Mission Control like he was as skilled as a professional career geologist.
The third crewmember orbiting the Moon was not left out of the prank, as a November 1969 calendar featuring DeDe Lind, Miss August 1967, had been stowed in a locker that Dick Gordon found while his crewmates were on the lunar surface.
Apollo 12 astronauts: Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad, Richard Gordon and Alan Bean in quarantine back on Earth. Their mission was only the second successful one to land on the moon
The wrist mounted instructions contained the pictures. They were kept secret for many years but are now contained in NASA’s historic archives, with straightforward titles like ‘Playmate No. 1,’ ‘Playmate No. 2,’ and so on
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