NASA: Astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, passes away

Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon, stands near a solar eclipse display, showing the moon passing in front of the sun, at the Science Museum in Boston Wednesday afternoon, July 7, 1999. Cernan is in Boston to help the museum celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first moonwalk. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Former astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, has died at age 82.

NASA announced that Cernan died Monday surrounded by his family. NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs confirmed the death but had no immediately details.

Cernan and Apollo 17 crewmate Harrison Schmitt spent three days on the moon in December 1972. As he followed Schmitt into the lunar lander for the return home, he offered a message of “peace and hope for all mankind.”

He also traced the initials of his 9-year-old daughter into the dust of the lunar surface.

Cernan also took part in a Gemini spaceflight in 1965 and in Apollo 10, the last mission before the one that put Neil Armstrong on the moon in July 1969.

 

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