Last Man on the Moon

SUBHEAD: Astronaut Eugene Cernan has died at 82. He was the last man to walk on the moon.

By Xeni Jardin on 16 January 2017 for Boing Boing -

Image above: Eugene Cernan aboard the Apollo 17 Command Module covered in moon dusted spacesuit on way back to Earth. From original article.

"We leave as we came, and, God willing, we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind."

These were the last words Eugene Cernan said upon leaving the surface of our moon, at the end of Apollo 17.

Cernan (shown below at the beginning of EVA 3) was the last man to walk on the moon. He died Monday, January 16, 2017 surrounded by his family.

Image above: Eugene Cernan, with Earth overhead, during moonwalk during last NASA mission to moon in 1972. From original article.

From the NASA remembrance:
Cernan, a Captain in the U.S. Navy, left his mark on the history of exploration by flying three times in space, twice to the moon. He also holds the distinction of being the second American to walk in space and the last human to leave his footprints on the lunar surface.
He was one of 14 astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963. He piloted the Gemini 9 mission with Commander Thomas P. Stafford on a three-day flight in June 1966. Cernan logged more than two hours outside the orbiting capsule.

In May 1969, he was the lunar module pilot of Apollo 10, the first comprehensive lunar-orbital qualification and verification test of the lunar lander. The mission confirmed the performance, stability, and reliability of the Apollo command, service and lunar modules. The mission included a descent to within eight nautical miles of the moon's surface.
In a 2007 interview for NASA's oral histories, Cernan said, "I keep telling Neil Armstrong that we painted that white line in the sky all the way to the Moon down to 47,000 feet so he wouldn't get lost, and all he had to do was land. Made it sort of easy for him."

Cernan concluded his historic space exploration career as commander of the last human mission to the moon in December 1972. En route to the moon, the crew captured an iconic photo of the home planet, with an entire hemisphere fully illuminated -- a "whole Earth" view showing Africa, the Arabian peninsula and the south polar ice cap. The hugely popular photo was referred to by some as the "Blue Marble," a title in use for an ongoing series of NASA Earth imagery.

Image above: Iconic photo of whole Earth taken by Eugene Cernan during Apollo 17 mission, the last voyage to the moon. From original article.

Video above: NASA film of Eugene Cernan singing "Merry Month of May" while moonwalking. From (

See also:
The Gobbler: Moonshot Part One 9/21/94
A rocky road to the Cape Canaveral.

The Gobbler: Moonshot Part Two 9/21/94
Up close to a Saturn V Rocket.

The Gobbler : Moonshot Part Three 9/21/94 
NASA's first launch to the Moon.

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