Thirty Year Apollo 17 Anniversary
December 06, 2002
December 7, 2002, marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of the sixth and final Apollo mission. Apollo 17 was propelled toward our nearest neighbor by a Saturn V rocket from Cape Canaveral in the early morning hours of December 7, 1972. The 70 mm full disk photograph above was taken by the crew of Apollo 17, Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, as they cruised toward the Moon. This was the first time during an Apollo mission that Antarctic was fully illuminated by the Sun and easily visible to the astronauts. It's perhaps the most widely-recognized space photo ever taken. In fact, it became a symbol of environmental awareness during the 1970's, finding its way onto posters, flags, and T-shirts. Cernan and Schmitt were the last 2 people to set foot on the Moon.