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Apollo 17

Apollo 17 panorama

The final Apollo mission was one of superlatives. The longest of all, it featured the only night launch of the program, the first professional scientist to walk on the moon (geologist Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, seen here collecting soil samples on the North Massif), the most samples yet gathered on the moon (243 pounds), and the lengthiest moonwalks. All told, Eugene Cernan, who was the last man on the moon, spent 22 hours over three days walking and driving around Taurus-Littrow, Apollo 17's landing site on the edge of the Sea of Serenity (which forms the man-in-the-moon's left eye). By contrast, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, stood on the lunar surface for a mere two and a half hours.

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Photography courtesy of U.S.Geological Survey Astrogeology Program

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