Apollo 17 Logo Apollo 17 - Farewell

Launched: December 7, 1972
Landed: December 11, 1972, Taurus-Littrow Valley
Splashed Down: December 19, 1972


Schmitt and Cernan left behind the Lunar Module "Challenger" and drove around almost 34 kilometers of lunar ground during this, the last mission to the moon. Schmitt was the first scientist, a geologist by trade, to visit the Moon, and became the last man (so far) to set foot on another celestial body.

The astronauts collected a record 108.86 kilograms of lunar rocks, including some that were orange in color, during their three moon walks and drives through the Taurus-Littrow Valley.

The last three scheduled Apollo missions had already been cancelled because of budgetary shortfalls by the time of this flight. The astronauts left behind a plaque that read:

"Here Man completed his first exploration of the Moon, December 1972 A.D. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind."

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Updated November 12, 2008
Charles Redmond, Author
Steven J. Dick, NASA Chief Historian
Steve Garber, NASA History Web Curator
For further information E-mail histinfo@hq.nasa.gov