Rober Racine: "The Revolutions of Solitude"

Second part of Moon Cycle, 2012-2013-2014.
The Revolutions of Solitude is a personal homage to six astronauts who travelled solo around the moon, during the Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972, while their teams explored the lunar surface below.  They are :
Michael Collins, Apollo 11 ; Richard F. Gordon, Apollo 12 ; Stuart A. Roosa, Apollo 14 ; Alfred M. Worden, Apollo 15 ; T. Kenneth Mattingly II, Apollo 16 ; Ronald E. Evans, Apollo 17.
Each rotation around the moon lasted about 2 hours. All alone in their command module, they studied the moon surface and the stars and they observed earth suspended faraway in the blue emptiness of space. They waited until their team members returned from the lunar surface to the LM (lunar module) to voyage back to earth.
Each passage “behind” the moon lasted 48 minutes. No radio communication was at this time possible. These men were, for a period of hours and days, more geographically remote than anyone since the beginning of humanity.
They were 350,000 km from earth.  Each experienced this peaceful solitude in his own way, according to his personality, his values, his tastes, his timetable.
Around the moon, while completing various tasks, some listened to recorded music.
Mentionnons : the Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz ; the Symphony No. 9, called «The New World Symphony» by Antonín Dvošák ; The Planets by Gustav Holst ; Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss ; Lux Aeterna by György Ligeti ; the music for thérémine by Samuel Hoffman ; Gustav Mahler ; «Yesterday» by the Beatles ; «My Sweet Lord» by Georges Harrison ; «Fly Me to the Moon» by Frank Sinatra ; «Suspicious Minds» by Elvis Presley ; Mireille Mathieu, Mary Hopkin, Louis Armstrong, Bob Wills, Simon & Garfunkel, Elton John, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and many others.  Some astronauts read poetry or history.
Alfred M. Worden (Apollo 15) had an audio book of The First Voyage Round the World by Captain James Cook.
They gathered geographic data, photographed, filmed and described their observations of moonscapes; the shapes, surfaces, textures, light effects and other phenomena never before seen.
All reported this : to have witnessed, every second hour, the rising of the earth, blue streaked with white, green and soft ocre, turning imperceptibly upon itself, in all its luminous fragility, was the most breathtaking event of their voyage.
To this day, only 27 men have lived that experience.
The Moon still fascinates me.
The Earth seen from the Moon ever more.
This image : Earthrise, (Apollo 8, December 1968) has been with me ever since.
It was the main source of inspiration for several works presented here.
«People are always expecting you to say it was lonely, but it wasn’t. It was incredibly peaceful, it was wonderful. It was just me and the stars and the Symphonie Fantastique».
T. Kenneth Mattingly II, astronaut, Apollo 16.
Texas Monthly magazine, July 1979.