Picture of Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle
Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harold Schmitt were the last humans to walk on the Moon, in the final mission of the Apollo space program. Together with Ronald Evans, they lifted off on Dec. 7, 1972 aboard Apollo 17.
The astronauts touched down in a lunar vally which contained both older and newer rocks. Similar to the previous two Apollo missions, this one involved setting up an experiments station and exploration using the Lunar Roving Vehicle.
Apollo 17 marked the end of the most successful space program in human history. Although NASA had already begun developing plans for a lunar base, such a project would require enormous funding and the support of tax payers. Unfortunately, confident that they had won the space race with the Soviet Union, Americans no longer viewed lunar exploration as a priority and politics demanded that the NASA budget be reduced.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is really neat! It was first launched in 1990, but scientists started building it in the 1970's! We have found all kinds of objects like stars, nebulae and galaxies. The...more
Apollo 11 was the first mission that landed a person on the moon. On July 16, 1969, the U. S. rocket Saturn 5 was launched carrying the lunar landing module Eagle. The Eagle was released and it reached...more
Apollo 12 was launched on Nov. 14, 1969 and arrived at the Moon three days later. Astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean descended to its surface, while Richard Gordon remained in lunar orbit aboard the...more
Apollo 15 marked the start of a new series of missions from the Apollo space program, each capable of exploring more lunar terrain than ever before. Launched on July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 reached the Moon...more
NASA chose Deep Impact to be part of a special series called the Discovery Program. This program is for cheap, scientific projects. In May 2001, NASA said it was ok to start with mission development for...more
Galileo was a spacecraft that orbited Jupiter for eight years. It made many discoveries about Jupiter and its moons. Galileo was launched in 1989, and reached Jupiter in 1995. The spacecraft had two parts....more
During 1966 through 1967, five Lunar Orbiter spacecrafts were launched, with the purpose of mapping the Moon's surface in preparation for the Apollo and Surveyor landings. All five missions were successful,...more