Eugene Cernan, last man to walk on Moon, passes away

Jan 18, 2017 14:31 IST

Astronaut Eugene Cernan, who was the last man to set foot on the Moon, passed away on 16 January 2017. He was 82.

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Currently, there are only six people who have walked on the moon- Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Charles Duke, Harrison Schmitt, John Young and David Scott.

About Eugene Cernan
• Cernan began his career as a Naval Aviator flying FJ-4 Fury and A-4 Skyhawk jets.
• His time at NASA started with the Gemini program, the precursor to Apollo. Gemini was geared toward working out how humans could survive in space.
• Cernan was originally a backup pilot for Gemini 9, but the primary crew was tragically lost in a plane crash just four months before the launch.
• Gemini missions successfully completed 47 orbits of the Earth and included a 2-hour spacewalk.
• He was one of 14 astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963 for the Apollo program that was created to send humans to the moon.
• His first Apollo mission was Apollo 10, which was the mission before the famous moon landing with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
• Apollo 10 was launched in May of 1969, just a few months before Apollo 11. It was basically a dress rehearsal for the actual moon landing that was to follow.
• Cernan set the foot on the moon as commander of Apollo 17, the final manned mission to the lunar surface. The mission reached the moon’s surface on 19 December 1972.
• In addition to being the last man to walk on the moon, Cernan has the distinction of being one of only three people to travel to the moon twice.

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