The last time men set foot on the Moon
Four decades have past since Eugene Cernan abandonded the Moon, turning into the last human being who was on the terrestrial satellite.
On December 14, 1972, major Eugene Cernan, leader of the Apolo 17 mission, stepped for the last time on lunar ground, closing one of the most glorious ages of space investigation. Even though his words showed that he didn’t think of maintaining that title for long, it’s been more than four decades since he said goodbye to the Moon with this words:
I’m on the surface; and, as I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come — but we believe not too long into the future — I’d like to just [say] what I believe history will record. That America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return: with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.
The three astronauts —Cernan, Roland Evans, who stayed in orbit, and the geologist Harrison Jack Schmitt, in charge of the sample taking— had launched on the dawn of December 7 from Florida. Cernan and Schmitt arrived without any troubles on to the lunar surface on December 11. They stayed there for 3 days, working on the field for more than 22 hours in total, travelling almost 36 kilometers (22 miles) and gathering 110 kilograms (242 lb) of geological samples.
On that mission, not only our satellite was explored, but also one of the most famous Earth photographs was taken, known as The Blue Marble, because of the unusual shine it produced on the astronauts’ cameras. Today, 40 years later, we still dream of going back to the moon. Not evem Cernan, who turned 78 on March, thought he would still be the last man who set foot on the moon.