Apollo 17 commander Eugene Cernan with the lunar rover in December 1972, in the moon's Taurus-Littrow valley. Credit: NASA

Humans Last Landed On The Moon 42 Years Ago Today

11 Dec , 2014 by

For a brief period in the 1960s and 1970s, 12 people ventured all the way to the surface of the Moon. The accomplishment at the time was hailed as a political victory over the Soviet Union, but as decades have passed the landings have taken on more symbolic meaning with NASA — a time of optimism, of science and of the American spirit.

The last lunar landing was Apollo 17, which took place on Dec. 11, 1972. Commander Eugene Cernan and lunar module pilot Harrison Schmitt did three moonwalks in the Taurus-Littrow valley, scoping out the highlands to try to get a geologic sense of the area. Among their more memorable findings are orange soil. You can see some pictures from their sojourn below.

Apollo 17's Saturn V rocket poised on the launch pad before its Dec. 7, 1972 takeoff. Credit:

Apollo 17’s Saturn V rocket poised on the launch pad before its Dec. 7, 1972 takeoff. Credit:

Apollo 17's lunar rover, flag and part of the lunar module in this view taken out the module's window. Credit: NASA

Apollo 17’s lunar rover, flag and part of the lunar module in this view taken out the module’s window. Credit: NASA

Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan with a gravimeter experiment. The lunar rover is at right. Credit; NASA

Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan with a gravimeter experiment. The lunar rover is at right. Credit; NASA

Orange soil (from volcanic glass beads) is clearly visible in this image from Apollo 17. Credit: NASA

Orange soil (from volcanic glass beads) is clearly visible in this image from Apollo 17. Credit: NASA

The Apollo 17 command module America and its service module, as photographed by the returning lunar module Challenger. Credit: NASA

The Apollo 17 command module America and its service module, as photographed by the returning lunar module Challenger. Credit: NASA

, , ,



Comments are closed.