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December 11, 2017 - Last One Off

Last One Off  The highlight of the last human spaceflight to the Moon occurred forty-five years ago this week, with the lunar landing of Apollo 17. After a four-day journey to the Moon, astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt descended to the lunar surface while crewmate Ronald Evans remained in lunar orbit. Schmitt, the only professional geologist to walk on the Moon, and Cernan landed in the Taurus-Littrow highlands region, an area that offered a unique combination of old and young geologic material. The pair spent three days on the Moon, traveled 36 km (22 mi) in their Lunar Roving Vehicle, and collected over 110 kg (240 lbs) of lunar samples. Cernan, who has the honor of being the last human to stand on the Moon, is seen here at the start of Apollo 17’s third and final EVA.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

December 11-17, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 11

1863: Annie Jump Cannon born
1972: Apollo 17 lands on Moon
1993: Sotheby’s holds first auction of Soviet space hardware & artifacts

Moon phase Tuesday 12

Hanukkah begins at sunset

Mercury in inferior conjunction

1961: OSCAR 1 launched, first amateur radio satellite
1970: Italian ground crew becomes first to launch satellite for America, Explorer 42

Moon phase Wednesday 13

Mars 4° south of Moon
Geminid meteor shower

2001: Final drop test of the X-38 Crew Return Vehicle prototype

Moon phase Thursday 14

Jupiter 4° south of Moon
Vesta 0.2° north of Moon
Geminid meteor shower

1546: Tycho Brahe born
1962: Mariner 2 first planet flyby (Venus)
1972: Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan becomes last human to walk on Moon
2013: Chang'e-3 spacecraft lands on Moondeploys Yutu rover

Moon phase Friday 15

1965: Gemini VI launched
1970: Venera 7 makes first landing on Venus
1984: Vega 1 launched to study Venus and Halley’s Comet
2003: National Air & Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center opens
2010: Soyuz TMA-20 launched carrying ISS Expedition 26/27 crew
2015: Soyuz TMA-19M launched carrying ISS Expedition 46/47 crew

Moon phase Saturday 16

1857: E. E. Barnard born
1965: Pioneer 6 launched
1976: Last two Saturn V moon rockets donated to museums

Moon phase Sunday 17

1903: First powered flight, by Orville Wright
1979: First successful test of all three Space Shuttle main engines
2012: GRAIL A & B spacecraft impact Moon

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.