Last man to walk on the moon, NASA astronaut Gene Cernan dies at 82

Posted at 3:36 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-16 16:00:50-05

Former astronaut Eugene Cernan has died at 82 years old, NASA said in a Tweet.

Cernan was a retired U.S. Navy Captain and one of fourteen astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963.

His list of life-long accomplishments is long but some of Cernan’s most notable achievements include being the second American to have walked in space, one of two men who flew to the moon twice, and was the last man to have walked on the surface of the moon.

He served as as spacecraft commander of Apollo 17, the last scheduled manned mission to the moon for the United States. The mission launched on December 6, 1972 and returned on December 19.

The mission established several new records for manned space flight, including longest manned lunar landing flight (301 hours, 51 minutes), and longest lunar surface extravehicular activities (22 hours, 6 minutes).

NASA says Cernan retired from the Navy with over 20 years of service on July 1, 1976. At this time he also ended his formal association with NASA.