Thursday , January 23 2020
Home / Adam Smith Institute / The last moonwalk

The last moonwalk

Summary:
It was on December 13th, 1972, that Eugene Ceman and Harrison Schmitt, crew members of Apollo 17, stepped out onto the lunar surface on their final extra-vehicular activity (aka moonwalk). It had been an extraordinary mission, starting with a night launch and including three days on the moon and three trips in the lunar rover, the longest of which saw them 4.7 miles away from the lunar module, at the limit of the range they could have walked back if the rover had failed. They collected more lunar samples than on previous landings, aided by the professional eye of Schmitt, a trained geologist. Before re-entering the module after their final EVA, Gene Cernan uttered the final words spoken on the moon’s surface: “… as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing,

Topics:
Madsen Pirie considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

David Stockman writes Apple Is Right to Refuse to Help the FBI Hack into iPhones

Tyler Durden writes Hunter Biden Ordered To Appear In Court Next Week For Contempt Hearing

David Stockman writes X Marks The Melt-Up

Tyler Durden writes China Slashes 2020 GDP Growth For Provinces As Widespread Slowdown Persists

It was on December 13th, 1972, that Eugene Ceman and Harrison Schmitt, crew members of Apollo 17, stepped out onto the lunar surface on their final extra-vehicular activity (aka moonwalk). It had been an extraordinary mission, starting with a night launch and including three days on the moon and three trips in the lunar rover, the longest of which saw them 4.7 miles away from the lunar module, at the limit of the range they could have walked back if the rover had failed.

They collected more lunar samples than on previous landings, aided by the professional eye of Schmitt, a trained geologist. Before re-entering the module after their final EVA, Gene Cernan uttered the final words spoken on the moon’s surface: “… 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.”

No-one would have suspected, at that time, that over half a century later, humans would not have returned there. It was a hiatus in manned exploration, one only partly filled by the International Space Station circling in low Earth orbit. The American public and the politicians representing it had grown bored of the space race now they had beaten the Russians. Having achieved humankind’s greatest dream, the subsequent visits seemed like an anticlimax. The continuing cost was a factor, too.

We had all supposed that humans might establish a lunar base. and then go on to Mars. Few of us had realized how close to disaster those early flights had been, or the jump in scale that would have been needed to continue. However, there is now a renewed interest in space, and a renewed determination to continue manned exploration.

Private companies funded by tech billionaires are playing a key role, with SpaceX and Blue Origin out there among the leaders. But the US government’s own programme is ambitious, and looks not only to more manned lunar landings, but to Mars beyond, and perhaps the asteroids.

When we landed on the moon, I remember the huge sense of achievement that swept the planet, uniting us all in thrilling that ours was the first generation to visit another world and look back on our own from the far distance. It gives us a useful sense of perspective to appreciate how tiny we are, and how insignificant our problems are in the grand scheme of the universe.

It is a good thing if this encourages us to tackle and solve those problems instead of screaming in despair and prophesying ruin. When we make the first return since the Apollo 17 astronauts left, it will reassure us once again that we are the species that solves its problems and overcomes its challenges.

Media enquiries: 07584 778207 (Call only, 24 hour)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *