Categories: MissionsMoonNASA

Apollo’s Final Footsteps, 40 years later

Will there come a time when we on Earth can look up at the Moon and know that people are living there permanently?

40 years ago today, humans left the Moon for the last time during our visits during the Apollo program. Author Andrew Chaikin has been creating a series of videos on why space exploration is important, and to mark the 40th anniversary of the last human footsteps on the moon, he looks back at Apollo 17’s explorations and explains why he believes the Moon is the solar system’s “jewel in the crown,” beckoning us to return.

“The Moon is an ideal place for future astronauts to tackle the enormous challenges of living on other worlds,” Chaikin says, “a kind of outward-bound school for learning to live off-planet that is just three days away from home.”

You can see all of Chaikin’s videos here, and here’s an interview we did with Chaikin last year, “Was the Apollo Program an Anomaly?

Additionally, read a great article the Amy Shira Teitel wrote for us last year about the Apollo 17 mission’s last Moonwalk.


Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at and and Instagram at and

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