|Image obtained from GeneCernan.com.|
At 5:55 p.m. EST on December 14, 1972, Captain Eugene A. Cernan, USN, and Dr. Harrison Schmitt, a professional geologist, blasted off from the lunar surface in the ascent stage of the Lunar Module Challenger.
Captain Cernan, a Chicago native, was the last man on the Moon. As he stood at the base of the Lunar Lander, just before climbing in for the last time, Cernan made a brief statement:
[A]s 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."Not for too long? As of today, it's 40 years and counting.
When can we hope to start moving toward the future again?