Eugene Cernan, Last Man On the Moon, Dies


via Alchetron

Eugene Cernan next to Apollo 17

NASA has had many different commanders over the years, but unfortunately, on January 16th, 2017, the last man that set foot on the moon passed away.  The 82-year-old Eugene Cernan was said to have died because of “ongoing health issues”, according to his family. After hearing the news, NASA paid tribute to the retired United States Navy captain on Twitter with a tweet saying, “We are saddened by the loss of retired NASA astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon.” Eugene Cernan, otherwise known as Gene by his close friends, earned several different distinctions during his 13 years with NASA. Cernan was the second person to ever walk in space, and he was one of the three people to ever go to the moon twice.


Cernan was remembered for being the commander of Apollo 17, the last mission to ever go to the moon. He was one of 14 of 18 astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963 for the Apollo program, created to send humans to the moon. “Apollo 17 built upon all of the other missions scientifically,” Cernan said in 2008. “We had a lunar rover, we were able to cover more ground than most of the other missions. We stayed there a little bit longer. We went to a more challenging unique area in the mountains, to learn something about the history and the origin of the moon itself.” However, Cernan passed away about a month after his co-worker John Glenn died, which was in mid-December. His family had also said that up until his death, he was very passionate about space and hoped that America would not let him be the last man to walk the moon. “Gene’s footprints remain on the moon, and his achievements are imprinted in our hearts and memories,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said.


The space industry lost a loved one, and he could never be replaced. Cernan is remembered for all his accomplishments he made while working for NASA, but he is mostly remembered for being a good friend, son, and husband. Kamron P., and 8th grader here at Kraemer Middle School says, “Wow. I can’t believe that happened. He will be missed.” His family now hopes that he will not remain as the last man on the moon, so they could complete his dying wish.