Apollo 15’s Dave Scott and Jim Irwin landed in the Hadley Rille Apennine mountain area of the Moon on July 30, 1971. They had a new and improved lunar module that allowed them to carry a lunar roving vehicle. They also wore the latest design in space suits and backpacks which allowed them to stay outside for longer periods. With these changes, they would dramatically increase the range of their surface explorations.
“Jim Irwin was one of my favorite astronauts," relayed Alan Bean. “Something about him said quietly, ‘You can count on me.’ Jim was, unexpectedly, more religious than most of us realized. I can remember when he and Dave were riding along on their rover near the end of their third EVA and Dave said, ‘Oh, look at the mountains today, Jim. When they’re all sunlit isn’t that beautiful?’ Jim answered, ‘Really is, Dave. I’m reminded of a favorite Biblical passage from Psalms, ‘I look unto the hills from whence cometh my help . . . .’ But of course, we get quite a bit from Houston, too.’”
Jim would later say, “I was aware on the Moon that thousands of people on Earth were praying for the success of our mission. The hours I spent on the Moon were the most thrilling of my life. Not because I was there but because I could feel the presence of God. There were times I was filled with new challenges and help from God was immediate.”
Dave and Jim journeyed into space as test pilot astronauts and most of us returned the same way. But Jim changed outwardly. As he explained, “I returned determined to share with others that profound experience with God on the Moon and lift man into his highest flight of life.”
"We Came in Peace for All Mankind" is Alan Bean’s tribute to his good friend’s faith that man could only visit the heavens with the help of a higher power.