I am curious to know if an astronaut on the Moon ever fell backwards and landed on his back. I have seen many photographs and videos of astronauts who accidentally tripped or lost their balance and fell forward coming down on their hands and knees, but I have never seen a photograph or a video of an astronaut who had been walking backwards and then accidentally tripped or lost his balance and landed on his back.

This makes me wonder if NASA had designed the spacesuit for the Apollo missions so that if the astronaut were to ever lose his balance, the center of gravity of both the astronaut and the spacesuit would always result in the astronaut falling forwards.

Did an astronaut on the Moon ever fall on his back?


2 Answers 2


On Apollo 16 Charlie Duke jumped up and fell on his backpack.

Duke said he rolled right to break his fall but still bounced onto his backpack, also called a portable life-support system, or PLSS.


Edit 2021-10-07

To the question, Do astronauts play reduced gravity sports when folks on Earth aren't watching? Ever quasi-regularly?. @uhoh provided an answer which included a You Tube video of John Young and Charlie Duke doing the "Lunar Olympics". It shows Charlie Duke falling backwards while "trying to set the high jump record". The latter half of the video has Charlie Duke providing a later commentary on what occurred during that event.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ thanks for providing that link. I don't recall ever seeing that video before. It answers my question as to if any astronaut has ever fallen backwards. $\endgroup$
    – user35148
    Nov 26, 2020 at 23:37

Although, I can't find the source anymore, one time one astronaut almost fell on his back. NASA later stated, that this can be dangerous, because it could unplug some wires and hoses. That's all I know, If I find the source I will link it here.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How interesting. I hope you can find the link to that source because I would like to read about it. $\endgroup$
    – user35148
    Nov 26, 2020 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ There's an answer with such an event mentioned. If you don't have something different to add here, it's probably better to click "delete" otherwise this can attract more down votes. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 13, 2021 at 0:28

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