Situation: Lunar Module Eagle has just made the first lunar liftoff. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are ascending from Tranquility Base to transfer themselves and their treasure of moon rocks to the command module and head for home.
Alan Bean recalls, "On the Apollo 12 mission, I recall looking out the window during lift-off and seeing a ring of bright orange, silver and black flashes of light expanding rapidly outward, glints from pieces of metal-foil insulation blasted from the descent stage by the ascent engine."
Alan Bean - Apollo XII astronaut, commander of Skylab II.
Holder of eleven world records in space and astronautics, as well as numerous national and international honors, Alan Bean has had a most distinguished peacetime career. His awards include two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, the Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal and the Robert J. Collier Trophy. As part of the Apollo XII crew, he became the fourth of only twelve men ever to walk on the Moon. As the spacecraft commander of Skylab Mission II, he set a world record: 24,400,000 miles traveled during the 59-day flight. He has also launched himself successfully into a new career as an artist.