Gene Cernan on the moon

Cernan Jump Salutes Flag

Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon during the Apollo Program, died today. He was 82.

“Eugene A. Cernan, Commander, Apollo 17 salutes the flag on the lunar surface during extravehicular activity (EVA) on NASA’s final lunar landing mission. The Lunar Module “Challenger” is in the left background behind the flag and the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) also in background behind him. While astronauts Cernan and Schmitt descended in the Challenger to explore the Taurus-Littrow region of the Moon, astronaut Ronald E. Evans, Command Module pilot, remained with the Command/Service Module (CSM) “America” in lunar-orbit.”

Cernan Driving the Rover

“Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, Apollo 17 mission commander, makes a short checkout of the Lunar Roving Vehicle during the early part of the first Apollo 17 extravehicular activity (EVA-1) at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. This view of the “stripped down” Rover is prior to loadup. This photograph was taken by Geologist-Astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, Lunar Module pilot. The mountain in the right background is the East end of South Massif.”

Schmitt covered with lunar dirt

Schmitt Covered with Lunar Dirt

My flickr contact NASA has posted this historic image of astronaut Harrison Schmitt on the moon taken on December 12, 1972.

Having NASA as a flickr contact is truly incredible. I was alive when all of this happened but it’s a lot more meaningful now. Fantastic.

Geologist-Astronaut Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 lunar module pilot, uses an adjustable sampling scoop to retrieve lunar samples during the second extravehicular activity (EVA-2), at Station 5 at the Taurus- Littrow landing site.

The cohesive nature of the lunar soil is born out by the “dirty” appearance of Schmitt’s space suit. A gnomon is atop the large rock in the foreground. The gnomon is a stadia rod mounted on a tripod, and serves as an indicator of the gravitational vector and provides accurate vertical reference and calibrated length for determining size and position of objects in near-field photographs. The color scale of blue, orange and green is used to accurately determine color for photography. The rod of it is 18 inches long.

The scoop Dr. Schmitt is using is 11 3/4 inches long and is attached to a tool extension which adds a potential 30 inches of length to the scoop. The pan portion, blocked in this view, has a flat bottom, flanged on both sides with a partial cover on the top. It is used to retrieve sand, dust and lunar samples too small for the tongs. The pan and the adjusting mechanism are made of stainless steel and the handle is made of aluminum.

John Young on the Moon


My flickr contact NASA posted this incredible image taken April 21, 1972.

Think about how long ago this picture was taken and where it was taken. Quite a bit of the world wasn’t born yet when this happened. I continue to be awed by these images which are a reminder of this incredible accomplishment.

Astronaut John W. Young, commander of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission, jumps up from the lunar surface as he salutes the U.S. Flag at the Descartes landing site during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity (EVA-1). Astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot, took this picture. The Lunar Module (LM) “Orion” is on the left. The Lunar Roving Vehicle is parked beside the LM. The object behind Young in the shade of the LM is the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph. Stone Mountain dominates the background in this lunar scene.