Last Astronaut on the Moon Dead at 82

Gene Cernan spent 3 days on the moon in 1972
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 16, 2017 3:03 PM CST
Former U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan, the last man who walked on the Moon in December 1972, views the exhibition, Traces of People in the National Museum in Prague Wednesday, June 18, 2008.   (AP Photo/CTK, Stanislav Zbynek)
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(Newser) – Former astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, has died at age 82, the AP reports. NASA announced that Cernan died Monday surrounded by his family. 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. (Read more Gene Cernan stories.)

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