The Apollo 17 launch was on December 7, 1972. It was the sixth and final manned mission to the moon, perhaps, if things don't work out right, the last time that creatures from the planet earth ever visit another celestial body.
|Astronauts on Apollo 17.|
The voyage of Apollo 17 marked the program’s concluding expedition to the moon. The mission lifted off after midnight on Dec. 7, 1972, from Kennedy Space Center. It was a spectacular and flawless night launch that could be seen far up the eastern seaboard.
The Lunar Module touched down on the lunar surface on Dec. 11, 1972. The crew spent almost 75 hours on the lunar surface, conducting about 22 hours of extravehicular activities (EVAs). They traveled almost 19 miles in the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV).
|This photo was taken during the second EVA on Dec. 12, 1972, Cernan is in the lunar rover designed by Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.|
|Moon and Earth, photographed by Apollo 17, 15th December 1972. 10 frames, covering about 4 minutes of real-time. Image credit: NASA/JSC/ASU. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.|
|Astronaut Ronald E. Evans during his EVA.|
|The Moon, December 12, 1972. Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt discover orange soil — the result of volcanic glass beads — at Shorty Crater in the Taurus-Littrow valley. Says Cernan, “Oh, man, that’s incredible.”|
|The Moon Buggy remains on the Moon, ready to use again.|
As of today, Schmitt retains the title of first and only professional scientist to have ventured beyond low-Earth orbit and to have set foot on the surface of the Moon.
|There are a number of 'sunstruck' photos from this mission that have a peculiar, and unintended, charm.|