Jan 172017
Gene Cernan On The Moon

Gene Cernan On The Moon. Photo Courtesy of Egger1.com

“During 20 years as a Naval Aviator, including 13 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Captain Eugene A. Cernan left his mark on history with three historic missions in space as the Pilot of Gemini IX, the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo X, and the Commander of Apollo XVII. After flying to the moon not once, but twice, he also holds the distinction of being the second American to walk in space and the last man to have left his footprints on the lunar surface.

Captain Cernan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1956 and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the United States Naval Post Graduate School in 1963. Among his numerous honors, the most significant are the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with Star, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the FAI International Gold Medal for Space, induction into the U.S. Space Hall of Fame, enshrinement into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, Naval Aviation’s Hall of Honor and the International Aerospace Hall of Fame. Captain Cernan was awarded NASA’s first Ambassador of Exploration Award, the Federal Aviation Administration’s prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, and the 2007 Lindbergh Spirit Award presented only every five years. In December, 2007, The National Aeronautic Association presented Captain Cernan with one of the most prestigious aviation trophies in the world, the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, in Washington, DC. Last April, Captain Cernan was honored by receiving the 2008 Rotary National Award for Space Achievement, and he recently received the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) Gold Air Medal, one of the most important international awards, in the Fall of 2008.”
(Excerpt from http://egger1.com)

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement after Cernan’s death:
“Truly, America has lost a patriot and pioneer who helped shape our country’s bold ambitions to do things that humankind had never before achieved.”

In honor of Gene Cernan’s passing L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti said:
“Today, we lost one of America’s greatest astronauts, Gene Cernan, the last man to set foot on the moon and one of only three people to travel to the moon twice. Gene inspired a generation of budding scientists to turn their eyes to the sky in awe and dedicate their lives to space exploration. In the wake of his passing, I’m reminded of Gene’s own words, and the message he worked to instill in our nation’s young people: ‘I walked on the moon. What can’t you do?”

Captain Eugene A. Cernan died at 82 following a fulfilled (and amazing!) life. He was the commander of the final Apollo (Apollo 17) lunar landing mission (during which he took his historic walk on the Moon) in 1972. We didn’t make any progress in traveling to – or exploring – the Moon since… (in 45 years!)

“Too many years have passed for me to still be the last man to have left his footprints on the Moon. 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. Let us give that dream a chance.”
Captain Eugene A. Cernan



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