Last Man on the Moon Was


Eugene A. Cernan

Born March 14, 1934, Chicago, Illinois
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering,
Purdue University
Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering,
U.S. Navy Postgraduate School

About the Man
Eugene Cernan graduated from Proviso Township High School in Maywood, Illinois. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1956. Enrolled in the Navy ROTC Program at Purdue, Cernan entered flight training upon graduating from Purdue University.

Cernan received a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, California. He later attended the Naval Postgraduate School.

Cermam has logged more than 5000 hours in flying time with more than 4800 of those hours in jet aircraft and he made over 200 jet aircraft carrier landings.

Cernan was one of fourteen astronauts selected by NASA in October of 1963.

About the Spaceflights

Gemini 9
June 3-6, 1966

Eugene Cernan served as pilot for the Gemini 9 mission. It was a three-day flight that achieved a circular orbit of 161 statute miles. The crew of Gemini 9 used three different techniques to achieve rendezvous with the previously launched Target Docking Adapter.

Cernan, who was the second American to walk in space, spent two hours and ten minutes outside the spacecraft in extravehicular activities, or EVA's.

The Gemini astronauts performed a perfect re-entry and recovery.

Flight Duration: Three days, twenty minures, and fifty seconds

Apollo 10
May 18-26, 1969

Cernan was lunar module pilot for the Apollo 10 flight. Apollo 10 was a 'dress rehearsal' for a lunar landing mission. The astronauts named the CSM, Charlie Brown, and the LEM, Snoopy.

Astronauts Young, Stafford and Cernan demonstrated the performance of the Lunar Excursion Module, LM, and the Command/Service Module, CSM in the gravitational field of the Moon.

The Apollo 10 evaluated both the CSM and LEM docked and undocked lunar navigation. The Apollo 10 crew orbited the Moon a total of thity-one times in a little over sixty-one hours. They took the LEM to within 50,000 feet of the Moon's surface. They performed the entire lunar landing mission except the actual landing. Apollo 10 mapped, and took pictures of, tentative landing sites for future lunar landing missions.

The astronauts of Apollo 10 gave the first live color broadcast from space.

Apollo 10 splashed down on May 26, 1969. Two months later, NASA would send Apollo 11 to the moon.

Flight Duration: Eight days, zero hours, three minutes, and twenty-three seconds

Apollo 17
December 7-19, 1972

Manned lunar landings of the Moon ended with the flight of Apollo 17. However, NASA is conducting investigations into the Moon's surface and its spatial features based on the Apollo 17 crew's observations and from photographs taken during the flight.

During the flight of Apollo 17, Cernan and Schmitt collected lava samples that helped geologists to understand how the huge craters were erupted from impacts. Scientists also gained knowledge of how the mountains on the lunar surface had been elevated.

From lunar orbit, Cernan and Schmitt mapped out the regions around the borders of the Sea of Serenity, and while on the Moon's surface, discovered orange and black soil at one of the mountain regions. These discoveries pathed the way for scientists to characterize the filling stage of the 'seas' in the evolution of the lunar surface.

Cernan spent seventy-three hours on the surface of the moon. He was the last man to set foot on the surface of the moon...for now.

Flight Duration: Twelve days, thirteen hours, and fifty-two minutes

Click on the patches to read about Eugene Cernan's historic
spaceflightsin more detail at NASA's Kennedy Space Center

   




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