Happy 43rd anniversary Apollo 17

20 Dec

It was 43 years ago today, Dec 19, that the last manned moon mission splashed down. At 19:24 UTC (11:24 am PST) Apollo 17 capsule entered the Pacific Ocean approximately 4 miles from the USS Ticanderoga, the recovery ship, thus ending its 12 day mission that would include doing a geological survey of the Moon and bring back samples. When the command capsule touched down in the Pacific Ocean it marked the end of the Apollo space program.

The mission started on Dec 7, 1972 when astronauts Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt climbed up to the command capsule. There they waited as the countdown was announced that would end with them lifting off into space. At 12:33 pm EST the Saturn V rocket carrying the three astronauts blasted off from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

On Dec 11, 1972 the three astronauts went into to orbit around the Moon. While Ronald Evans remained in orbit in the Command Module, Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt rode the Lunar Module to the surface. For the next three days Cernan and Schmitt would be the last two Earthlings to walk on the lunar surface. There they would carry out the geological survey and other objectives.

After completing their mission Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt climbed back aboard the Lunar Module. It was then at 5:54 pm EST they lifted off the Moon’s surface to rendezvous with the Command Module to travel back to Earth. Once the two module were linked up again the three astronauts headed back to Earth.

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