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  • For as long as I knew Eugene, he had his sight set on space.

  • All these years later, I can't believe he's still up there.

  • My man on the moon.

  • (slow piano music)

  • Eugene and I were married 46 years.

  • I first met Eugene when he was studying geology at Princeton.

  • He would tell me about all the secrets the Earth held.

  • And of course his favorite, those impact craters.

  • Soon enough, he got me to fall in love with those rocks, too.

  • After the kids had grown and were out of the house, I was looking for something to do and Eugene suggested maybe I would like to see things through the telescope.

  • We spent our days holed up in Lowell Observatory.

  • [Man] I believe that this nation-

  • When Kennedy announced that they were going to send a man to the moon, Eugene was terribly excited.

  • Eugene wanted to go to the moon more than anything else.

  • Then, he got the medical test.

  • Addison's Disease.

  • His immune system wasn't protecting him the way it needed to.

  • They couldn't risk him leaving Earth.

  • He felt like his goal had suddenly disappeared.

  • At the same time he was not a quitter.

  • He set up his own mock lunar site and trained Neil Armstrong and the rest of the boys before they took off.

  • Our focus changed over the years from looking up at the moon and looking at the sky to how the Earth was formed.

  • We packed up and criss-crossed Australia looking for signs of impact craters.

  • On the day of the accident, we were just looking off in the distance, talking about how much fun we were having.

  • And then suddenly, there appeared a Land Rover in front of us.

  • There was no time to think.

  • The two vehicles collided.

  • And Eugene died.

  • I had a call while I was in the hospital.

  • He said they're about to send a mission up to the moon.

  • I wonder if you would like to put Eugene's ashes on the moon, and so I said I think that would be wonderful.

  • The whole family was there to wave Eugene goodbye.

  • After the mission was completed, it ran out of fuel and it crashed into the moon.

  • And that's where Eugene's ashes are now.

  • Suddenly, the man who spent his whole life studying craters had made his own impact.

  • I miss him always, but to this day I can look up at the moon and imagine him there with his rocks looking down at me.

  • He still lights up every single one of my night skies.

For as long as I knew Eugene, he had his sight set on space.

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How a Man's Ashes Made it to the Moon

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    Celine Chien posted on 2020/10/25
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