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Teamwork on the moon

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It took Apollo 12 astronauts Alan Bean and Pete Conrad exactly two tries to figure out the equation for teamwork on the lunar surface.

Twice when backing up to take photos during Apollo 12’s mission in 1969, Bean tripped over moon rocks and fell backward. Because of the moon’s low gravity, it wasn’t falling that caused the problem, Bean soon learned. It was getting up.

The first time Bean fell, Conrad extended his hand and pulled him up, causing Bean to spring forward so that the two crashed into each other.

The next time Bean fell, Conrad extended just his finger and gently lifted Bean, who arose easily and safely to his feet.

Lesson: Teamwork takes practice. Don’t expect it to go perfectly the first time.

— Adapted from The Alan Bean Gallery,

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