Nasa: The Launch Of Apollo 17
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Apollo 17 was the eleventh manned space mission in the NASA Apollo program. It was the first night launch of a U.S. human spaceflight and the sixth and final lunar landing mission of the Apollo program. It was a "J-type mission", missions including three-day lunar surface stays, extended scientific capability, and the Lunar Roving Vehicle.
Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt launched at 12:33 a.m. EST on December 7, 1972. While Evans remained in lunar orbit above in the Command/Service Module, Cernan and Schmitt spent just over three days on the lunar surface in the Taurus-Littrow valley, performing three EVAs or moonwalks during which they collected lunar samples and deployed scientific instruments. Cernan, Evans, and Schmitt returned to Earth on December 19 after an approximately 12-day mission.
Apollo 17 remains the most recent manned Moon landing and the most recent manned flight beyond low Earth orbit. It also broke several records set by previous flights, including longest manned lunar landing flight; longest total lunar surface extravehicular activities; largest lunar sample return, and longest time in lunar orbit.