07.12.

1972: Who Were the Last People on the Moon?

1972: Who Were the Last People on the Moon?
Photo Credit To http://blogs.voanews.com/science-world/files/2012/06/as17-140-21391.jpg

Story Highlights

  • historical event: A total of only 12 people in the entire history of mankind walked on the lunar surface. The first was, of course, the famous Neil Armstrong, and the last was Eugene Cernan, the commander of Apollo 17, launched precisely on this day.

On this day Apollo 17 was launched, the last manned mission sent to the moon. It is almost unbelievable that since then, for more than 40 years, people have not set foot on the lunar surface. To someone from the 60s or 70s, it would probably seem unthinkable that people no longer had the opportunity to walk on the Moon from then till deep into the 21st century.

Altogether, the Americans landed on the Moon six times within all Apollo missions. In each of these missions there were two astronauts, so only 12 people walked on the lunar surface in the entire history of mankind. The first was, of course, the famous Neil Armstrong, and the last was Eugene Cernan, the commander of Apollo 17, launched precisely on this day. Since his colleague entered the vehicle first, Eugene Cernan till this day remains the last man to set foot on the Moon. Cernan is still alive, and it is interesting that he is of Czech and Slovak origin. Namely, his mother was Czech and father Slovak. Originally, his Slovak surname was Čerňan and it was only later Americanized to Cernan.

It is not widely known that the last mission – Apollo 17 – set some records. It made ​​the longest stay on the surface of the Moon: 3 days, 2 hours, and 59 minutes (for comparison – the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, did not even spend a full day on the surface). Also, Cernan and his colleague Schmitt from Apollo 17 made the longest lunar walk. Finally, they brought back to Earth the largest amount of lunar rocks – 111 kg.

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