Apollo 17: 40 Years Ago Today

by Nancy Atkinson on December 7, 2012

The launch of Apollo 17. Credit: NASA

It was the end of an era. At 12:33 a.m. (EST) on Dec. 7, 1972 the monstrous Saturn V rocket blasted off for the final Apollo mission to the Moon. It was a stunning sight, as it was the first nighttime liftoff of the Saturn V. Aboard the Apollo 17 spacecraft were astronauts Gene Cernan, Ron Evans and Jack Schmitt.

Below are a couple of images and videos from the mission, one video is an overview of the mission, and the other is one of my favorite scenes:

Gene Cernan driving the lunar rover during the Apollo 17 mission on the Moon. Credit: NASA

Jack Schmitt with the lunar rover at the edge of Shorty Crater. Credit: NASA

The famous “Blue Marble” image of Earth taken by the Apollo 17 crew on Dec. 7, 1972. Credit: NASA

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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