Apollo 12 Pranksters

The space program was, for better or worse, a bit of a boys’ club for many decades. Actually, it was a total frat party. When you put a bunch of gung-ho test pilots and overworked engineers in a room together, you’re gonna get some juvenile behavior. Apollo 12 was probably the pinnacle of adolescent space pranks.

The wrist cuff manuals held the step-by-step procedures for each of the astronauts’ extra-vehicular excursions. Measure this, check this, collect that. Very little is done in space without a checklist. Ernie Reyes, chief of pre-flight operations for NASA back on Earth, spiced up the checklists with little “Snoopy” cartoons. Snoopy, from Peanuts, was an unofficial mascot of the Apollo program (they named those black and white radio caps after the dog).

And then there were the Playboy playmates. “Survey her activity” indeed! See more of the cartoons and hilarious “adult checklists” here at the NASA lunar archives.

Yet another reason Apollo XII was the coolest of them all. As if the presence of ALAN BEAN wasn’t enough already…