Astronaut Charles Duke was born on October 3rd, 1935, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He received a bachelor of science degree in Naval Sciences from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1957 and a master of science degree in Aeronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964.
Duke was commissioned by the Air Force in 1957 upon graduation from the Naval Academy. He later graduated from the Aerospace Research Pilot School in September 1965 and stayed on there as an instructor. He retired as an Air Force Reserve Brigadier General.
Duke served as member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 10 flight. He was CAPCOM for Apollo 11—the first moon landing—and served as backup lunar module pilot on Apollo 13. Duke served as lunar module pilot of Apollo 16 in 1972. He was joined by spacecraft commander John Young and command module pilot Thomas K. Mattingly II. Duke and Young visited the lunar surface to collect samples and conduct experiments. Duke also served as backup lunar module pilot for Apollo 17. In 1975, Duke retired from the Astronaut program to enter private business.