Astronaut Gene Cernan died at age 82 January,16, 2017 of an extended illness. He was a Navy pilot, the second American to walk into space, has walked on the moon twice as an astronaut, he was the last person to have walked on the moon. His last time being on Apollo 17.
NASA announced Cernan’s death on their webpage saying that he died with his family supporting him.
Cernan was born on march 14, 1934 went to Proviso High School and graduated. He then went to Purdue University in 1952 and after graduating in 1956 he obtained an electrical engineering degree. Afterwards, he went into the navy and eventually became a fighter pilot while still continuing his studies.
During 1963, NASA picked out their third group of astronauts and Cernan turned out to become a member. He flew a total of three trips, two going to the moon. He actually turned down other offers for traveling into space waiting for a chance to become commander.
Well, Cernan’s wait pulled off. He got offered to be commander in Apollo 17. During the Mission Cernan actually set an unofficial moon land speed record of 11.2 mph. In connection to Cernan, Apollo 17 spent the most time in lunar orbit and obtained the most geological samples.
When it was time to go back to Earth from the moon, Gene Cernan said these words on the ladder of the space craft:
“[A]s I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I’d like to just [say] what I believe history will record: that America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus–Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”
After that he retired from all of his business in the government and pursued more private opportunities such as appearing on tv and participating in some rallies. Anyway, his family misses him very much and insist that he led a great life.