This Day in Aviation History
December 13th, 1972
The third moonwalk, the last of the Apollo program, began at 5:26 pm EST on December 13.
During this excursion, the crew collected 66 kilograms (146 lb) of lunar samples and took nine gravimeter measurements. They drove the rover to the north and east of the landing site and explored the base of the North Massif, the Sculptured Hills, and the unusual crater Van Serg. Before ending the moonwalk, the crew collected a rock, a breccia, and dedicated it to several different nations which were represented in Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas, at the time. A plaque located on the Lunar Module, commemorating the achievements made during the Apollo program, was then unveiled. Before reentering the LM for the final time, Gene Cernan expressed his thoughts:
…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.”
Cernan then followed Schmitt into the Lunar Module after spending approximately seven hours and 15 minutes outside during the mission’s final lunar excursion….
Wikipedia, Apollo 17: http://gstv.us/1Z5lDfL
YouTube, Apollo 17 mission (1972), Eugene Cernan: “The last Man on the Moon”, ( 2008 ) HD excerpt: http://gstv.us/1Z5lFUV
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