Last man to walk on moon, dies at 82

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The last man to leave a footprint on the moon has passed away.

Eugene Cernan, who was 82 when he died, flew three times in space, twice to the moon. He was the second American to take a space walk and the last human to set foot on our planet's moon, NASA reports.

Cernan was the commander of the December 1972 Apollo 17 mission, one of the last Apollo flights and the last to go to the moon. He became the 11th person to step foot on the lunar surface; the lunar module pilot, Jack Schmitt, was the 12th. But as Cernan was the last to board the vessel that would take them home, it is his foot that most recently left the moon's surface.

Though he wasn't the first to reach the moon, Cernan was pivotal in getting humans there. In May 1969, he was the lunar module pilot of the Apollo 10 mission, which orbited the moon and tested its lunar lander without actually landing.

In an interview with NASA in 2007, Cernan said, "I keep telling Neil Armstrong that we painted that white line in the sky all the way to the Moon down to 47,000 feet so he wouldn't get lost, and all he had to do was land. Made it sort of easy for him."

2017.01.17 / 09:48
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