Apollo 17 was the eleventh manned space mission in the NASA Apollo program, and was the sixth and last mission to date to land on the Moon. It was the first night launch, and the final mission, of the Apollo program.
(1) number of spaceflights each crew member has completed, including this mission.
- Launch mass: 2,923,387 kg
- Total spacecraft: 46,678 kg
- CSM mass: 30,320 kg, of which CM was 5960 kg, SM 24,360 kg
- LM mass: 16,448 kg, of which ascent stage was 4985 kg, descent stage 11,463 kg
- Earth orbits: 2 before leaving for Moon, about one on return
- Lunar orbits: 75
- Perilune: 97.4 km
- Apolune: 314.8 km
- Inclination: 159.9°
- Period: min
- Landing Site: 20.19080° N - 30.77168° E (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/lunar_sites.html) or
20° 11' 26.88" N - 30° 46' 18.05" E
- Cernan and Schmitt - EVA 1
- EVA 1 Start: December 11, 1972, 23:54:49 UTC
- EVA 1 End: December 12, 07:06:42 UTC
- Duration: 7 hours, 11 minutes, 53 seconds
- Cernan and Schmitt - EVA 2
- EVA 2 Start: December 12, 1972, 23:28:06 UTC
- EVA 2 End: December 13, 07:05:02 UTC
- Duration: 7 hours, 36 minutes, 56 seconds
- Cernan and Schmitt - EVA 3
- EVA 3 Start: December 13, 1972, 22:25:48 UTC
- EVA 3 End: December 14, 05:40:56 UTC
- Duration: 7 hours, 15 minutes, 08 seconds
- Evans - Transearth EVA 4
- EVA 4 Start: December 17, 1972, 20:27:40 UTC
- EVA 4 End: December 17, 21:33:24 UTC
- Duration: 1 hour, 05 minutes, 44 seconds
The splashdown point was 17 deg 53 min S, 166 deg 7 min W, 350 nautical miles SE of the Samoan Islands and 6.5 km (4 mi) from the recovery ship USS Ticonderoga.
The last man to set foot on the Moon was also the first scientist-astronaut/geologist Harrison Schmitt. While Evans circled in "America," Schmitt and Cernan collected a record 108.86 kilograms of rocks during three Moonwalks. The crew roamed for 33.80 kilometers through the Taurus-Littrow valley in their rover, discovered orange-colored soil, and left behind a plaque attached to their lander Challenger, which read: "Here Man completed his first exploration of the Moon, December 1972 A.D. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind." The Apollo lunar program had ended.
Crew members were Gene Cernan, commander; Ron Evans, command module pilot; and Harrison Schmitt, lunar module pilot.
A J-class mission, featuring the Lunar Rover, they conducted three lunar surface excursions, lasting 7.2, 7.6 and 7.3 hours. The mission returned 110.5 kg of samples from the Moon.
The Command module is currently on display at NASA's Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. The lunar module impacted the Moon on 15 December 1972 at 06:50:20.8 UT (1:50 AM EST) at 19.96 N, 30.50 E.
On this mission the astronauts took a famous photograph of the earth known as "The Blue Marble".
- Schmitt, a geologist, was the first scientist on the moon.
- Like the astronauts of Apollos 10, 12, 13, and 14 before it, the Apollo 17 crew were recovered in Pacific waters near American Samoa, and were flown from the recovery ship to the airport at Tafuna where they were greeted with an enthusiastic (and well practiced!) Samoan reception before being flown on to Honolulu, thence to Houston.
Schmitt took this picture of Cernan flanked by an American flag and their lunar rover's umbrella-shaped high-gain antenna near the beginning of their third and final excursion across the lunar surface. The prominent Sculptured Hills lie in the background while Schmitt's reflection can just be made out in Cernan's helmet.
Command Module pilot Ron Evans performs a trans-earth EVA to retieve film from the Apollo 17 SIM Bay camera. (NASA)
- NASA NSSDC Master Catalog (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/sc-query.html)
- APOLLO BY THE NUMBERS: A Statistical Reference by Richard W. Orloff (NASA) (http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/Apollo_00a_Cover.htm)
- Development of Manned Space Flight, American and Soviet NASA SP-4209 (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4209/appb.htm)
- The Apollo Spacecraft: A Chronology (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4009/cover.htm)
- Apollo Program Summary Report (http://history.nasa.gov/apsr/apsr.htm)
- Apollo 17 Characteristics - SP-4012 NASA HISTORICAL DATA BOOK (http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4012/vol3/table2.45.htm)
- Apollo 17 entry in Encyclopedia Astronautica (http://www.astronautix.com/flights/apollo17.htm)
- September 1973 National Geographic Magazine article (http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0407/online_extra.html?c=Newsletters&n=2Q04_Insider2&t=internal)