Professor Ross Taylor is not very excitable.
Fifty years ago, the Canberra scientist made one of the big discoveries about the nature of the moon.
He remains completely underwhelmed. How tense was he? Two on a scale of ten, he told The Canberra Times.
Professor Taylor was the man given the job of analysing the very first samples of moon rock brought back by the Apollo 11 astronauts on July 24, 1969.
He had gone from the Australian National University to NASA in Houston where he was in charge of the "lunar receiving laboratory".
Professor Taylor was recruited because the ANU lab he had worked in was similar to the Houston lab. After a conference in the United States, the NASA scientific director asked him to stay and and carry out the first spectrographic analysis of moon rock.
The whole world awaited the results of his tests.
Cheese he assumed it wasn't but would he discover new substances which would completely alter our view on the way the earth fitted into the universe?
After his work with NASA, he returned to the ANU where he remains an emeritus professor. He is frail at the age of 93 but his mind is sharp.
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At the Calvary John James Hospital, he reminisced with an American colleague.
"He was the calm in the eye of the hurricane storm going around him," Dr Everett Gibson said of Professor Taylor's unflappability.
Professor Taylor still remembers the scientific detail of the work he was doing. He and his team in the laboratory turned the moon rock into powder and then analysed it by putting electromagnetic rays through it.
Different chemical elements gave a different pattern of lines on a photographic plate. There were 100,000 lines to be analysed. It was not something to get wrong. A cool head was essential because "you had to make sure the lines were properly identified".
At 11.45 am on July 28, he received the first samples. Just over four hours later, he delivered his preliminary findings at a news conference.
He and his team then worked and delivered follow up results each day. Sometimes they worked from 7am through to 3am the next morning.
The laboratory was under armed guard because the moon rock was thought to be so vulnerable to theft.
But they were also dealing with an unknown substance from space, and there were fears that it might contaminate the planet in a real life version of a science fiction thriller.
Nobody knew what to expect.
In the event, Professor Taylor and his colleagues established that moon rock contains no new elements (the basic building blocks of materials) but it is combined in a different way from rocks on earth. The rocks are different but the basic elements are the same on the moon as on earth.
Cheese it was not.
"There were elaborate quarantine procedures set up to avoid horrendous science fiction scenarios," Professor Taylor said.
"But no one realised that the moon dust was so dry that it would stick to everything," he recalled.
"It was all over the astronaut's suits and throughout the capsule. It's lucky it wasn't dangerous because as soon as they opened the lunar module it had contaminated the Pacific Ocean."
Apart from many academic awards, he was elected as a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences in 1994 and was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2008.