USAWorld News

On this historic day, December 11, 1972, the Apollo 17 astronauts became the last humans to walk on the moon

[ad_1]

The American crewed spaceflight to the Moon on December 7, 1972 was known as Apollo 17 – also known as the final flight of the Apollo program.

This particular spaceflight included two historic astronauts: Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt.

These Apollo 17 astronauts would become – on this historic day, December 11, 1972 – the last humans to walk on the moon so far.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, DEC. ON NOVEMBER 10, 1869, WYOMING WAS THE FIRST TERRITORY TO GRANT WOMEN THE RIGHT TO VOTE

Eugene Cernan was a mission commander who orbited Earth on Gemini 9 and the moon on Apollo 10, according to Britannica.

Harrison Schmitt was a lunar module pilot and the first scientist-astronaut to set foot on the moon.

The launch of NASA’s Apollo 17 spacecraft from Pad A, Launch Complex 39 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on December 7, 1972.
(Space Frontiers/Getty Images)

The spaceflight had a third astronaut on board: Ronald Evans – the command module pilot who had been a naval aviator in the past.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, SEPT. 23, 1806, LEWIS AND CLARK RETURN TO ST. LOUIS AS HERO AFTER TRIP

The last launch of the Apollo program space flight was originally scheduled for December 6, 1972, in the evening; but it was delayed due to a technical malfunction, according to Britannica.

On December 11, Cernan and Schmitt landed the lunar module on the surface of the moon.

The delay dropped the launch to just after midnight, making it a Dec. 7 launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The powerful rocket reached Earth orbit in less than 12 minutes and lunar orbit on December 10.

On December 11, Cernan and Schmitt landed the lunar module on the surface of the moon.

Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan touches an American flag on the surface of the moon.

Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan touches an American flag on the surface of the moon.
(Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

“The Challenger” landed just 2 hours and 34 minutes after separating from the command and service module, according to Britannica.

Shortly after landing, Cernan and Schmitt walked on the moon.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, AUGUST 31, 1966 THE FIRST FLIGHT OF THE HARRIER JUMP JET

During their 75 hours on the moon’s surface, Cernan and Schmitt collected 243.56 pounds of rock and soil samples.

After collecting the samples, the astronauts performed experiments – and started an “experimental package” that sent data back to Earth, according to Britannica.

Lunar module pilot Harrison H. Schmitt collects geological samples on the moon during his EVA (extra-vehicular activity) during NASA's Apollo 17 lunar landing mission in 1972.

Lunar module pilot Harrison H. Schmitt collects geological samples on the moon during his EVA (extra-vehicular activity) during NASA’s Apollo 17 lunar landing mission in 1972.
(Space Frontiers/Getty Images)

On December 14, the two men returned to the command module and returned to Earth.

Just five days later, on December 19, 2972, the group of astronauts landed in the South Pacific Ocean, according to Britannica.

Since then, no more Americans have walked on the moon.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

Schmitt told Space.com in a 2017 interview that the success of the Apollo program could be attributed to many different elements.

Apollo 17 Commander Eugene A. Cernan waves to the American flag on the lunar surface during an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) during NASA's final lunar landing mission.

Apollo 17 Commander Eugene A. Cernan waves to the American flag on the lunar surface during an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) during NASA’s final lunar landing mission.
(Heritage Images via Getty Images)

“Keys to the success of the Apollo program included the existence of several elements, in particular, a sufficient technological base, as well as a large reservoir of patriotic young engineers and skilled workers,” he said.

Cernan is believed to have said these words during his last steps on the moon: “We will return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Good luck to the crew of Apollo 17.”

Cernan died in January 2017 in Houston.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Schmitt — after his work with NASA — became a U.S. senator from New Mexico, serving from Jan. 3, 1977, to Jan. 3, 1983.

A geologist, he remains today the only person without training in military aviation to have walked on the moon.

[ad_2]

Fox

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button