Apollo 17 Enters Lunar Orbit (10 Dec. 1972) — The crescent Earth rises above the lunar horizon in this photograph taken from the Apollo 17 spacecraft in lunar orbit during National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) final lunar landing mission in the Apollo program. While astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, commander, and Harrison H. Schmitt, lunar module pilot, descended in the Lunar Module (LM) “Challenger” to explore the Taurus-Littrow region of the moon, astronaut Ronald E. Evans, command module pilot, remained with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) “America” in lunar orbit.

Apollo Veteran: Skip Asteroid, Go to the Moon: It’s 40 years to the day that the final mission to the moon launched. Discovery News speaks with Apollo 17 astronaut and geologist Harrison “Jack” Schmitt about where he thinks the Earth’s only satellite came from and why he thinks a NASA manned asteroid mission is a mistake.

“I think an asteroid is a diversion, if the ultimate goal is to get to Mars, you have a satellite only three days away that has a great deal of science as well as resources. The science of the moon has just been scratched. We’ve hardly explored the moon." – Schmitt

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Let’s take a moment to remember that on this day, 40 years ago (my god, could it really be so long ago?), the United States launched Apollo 17, the mission that would put the last two men on the moon.

Pictured are Commander Eugene Cernan (bottom), LMP Harrison “Jack” Schmitt (top left) and CMP Ronald Evans.

Let’s hope it’s not too long before we go back.


Apollo 17 in Real-Time - The Last Mission to the Moon is a real-time interactive exploration of the entire Apollo 17 Mission. 

A work in progress, this simulation was put together over several years by space enthusiast Ben Feist, and the result is nothing short of astounding. Mission audio, video,  transcripts, photography and mission-control commentary have all been meticulously synchronized to give you the feeling of being there; watching everything unfold as if happening live, right before your eyes!

You can read more about this amazing project here. And if you enjoyed this awesome resource, please let the incredible @BenFeist know by giving him a shoutout on twitter. :)