Alan Bean was a wonderfully interesting person. He lacked the "test pilot" ego of most astronauts, but he was so thoroughly involved in what he did that he was instrumental, probably essential, in the success of Apollo 12.
When the spacecraft was struck by lightning TWICE during the launch, most of the power systems shut down - appropriately, to protect the spacecraft. But that meant the entire navigation system needed to be restarted, and that required careful celestial navigation. Yes, the Apollo spacecraft had a sextant (a pretty fancy one), but which stars would give them the best fix for the most accurate startup for the navigation system?
Bean suggested which stars to use because he - in his free time - would do star sightings in the simulator just to get experience with the systems. They worked perfectly, and our second lunar landing mission succeeded. Here's the story.
My life's mission is to be interviewed on the centennial of the Apollo 11 landing (on whatever takes over for what we call TV today) and to be rational and coherent in explaining how it felt for someone to set foot on another celestial body for the FIRST TIME EVER after only a few years of effort. Shaming? YOU BET! The question is whether I'll be shaming a couple of generations, or all of them up to that date...