December 19, 1972: The Apollo 17 Mission Ends

On this day in 1972, the Apollo 17 crew returned to earth after a 12-day mission, ending the last manned mission to the moon. It was the most ambitious moon mission, breaking records for the longest manned lunar landing and flight, the longest total lunar surface extravehicular activities, the largest lunar samples, and the longest time in lunar orbit. Apollo 17 also had the first night launch. 

Commander, Eugene A. Cernan and Lunar Module pilot, Harrison H. Schmitt are still the last people to walk on the moon.

Read NOVA’s interview with Eugene Cernan, the last man on the moon.

Photo: Apollo 17 post-landing recovery operations (NASA). 

The only Moon mission I didn’t get to watch.

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