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Thread: The last man to walk on the Moon

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    The last man to walk on the Moon

    "It's a little disappointing and a dubious honor to be the last man to walk on the Moon."--Gene Cernan

    Retired Captain Eugene "Gene" A. Cernan, widely known for being the most recent astronaut to walk on the moon, has died at age 82, according to NASA officials.

    Cernan was an American naval officer, naval aviator, electrical engineer, aeronautical engineer, fighter pilot and NASA astronaut who traveled into space three times. His missions included one as pilot of Gemini 9A in June 1966, lunar module pilot for Apollo 10 in May 1969 and as commander of Apollo 17 in December 1972.

    On his last excursion into space, he unknowingly became famous as he took his, and the world's, most recent spacewalk on the moon; leading to Cernan being called "the last man to walk on the moon," as none have followed in those footsteps since him.

    It is not a fate he intended for himself, saying, "Too many years have passed for me to still be the last man to have left his footprints on the Moon," as quoted on his personal website. He continued, "I believe with all my heart that somewhere out there is a young boy or girl with indomitable will and courage who will lift that dubious distinction from my shoulders and take us back where we belong."

    Born in Chicago, Illinois on March 14, 1934, Cernan was a lifelong aviator, receiving his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University before pursuing his Masters in Aeronautical Engineering from the United States Naval Post Graduate School in 1963. Centering on flight after graduation, he would go on to log over 5,000 flying hours with 4,800 on jet aircraft and over 200 jet aircraft carrier landings, eventually leading him to space as a pilot for NASA.

    Among his numerous honors, Cernan was awarded the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with Star, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the FAI International Gold Medal for Space, induction to the U.S. Space Hall of Fame and the Naval Aviation's Hall of Honor. His lifelong devotion to flight is not understated by his distinguished history in service to the country's aviation forces.

    Cernan expressed continued faith in the value of space exploration, and the dream that we might one day visit the stars, saying adamantly, "Let us give that dream a chance."

    He argued, decades after his own space walks, to ensure that he wasn't the last person to walk on the moon, testifying before Congress to push for a return. But as the years went by it became clear to him that this wouldn't be a dream he would get to witness.

    "Neil (Armstrong, who died in 2012) and I aren't going to see those next young Americans who walk on the moon. And God help us if they're not Americans," Cernan testified before Congress in 2011 according to the Associated Press, "When I leave this planet, I want to know where we are headed as a nation. That's my big goal."

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    Re: The last man to walk on the Moon

    Quote Originally Posted by Really Big Bama Fan View Post
    "It's a little disappointing and a dubious honor to be the last man to walk on the Moon."--Gene Cernan
    As far as we know he was the last astronaut to walk on the moon. What about all that dark side of the moon thingys?

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