December 19

Apollo 17 splashdown Photo Credit: NASA.

Today in Science

Last Manned Lunar Flight Returns To Earth

On this day in 1972, 12 days after launch, Apollo 17, the sixth and final manned flight to the moon, returned safely to Earth.

Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmit (a geologist by training) served as the crew of the Apollo 17 mission. Schmit and Cernan spent three days on the surface of the moon, conducting moonwalks and deploying equipment to explore the landing area; Evans remained in orbit above the moon's surface to perform on-board experiments.

Learn more about space exploration -- both in the past and moving forward -- through the Science NetLinks collecion Celebrating Space Exploration.

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