18 January 2017 Current Affairs: Astronaut Eugene Cernan, who was the last man to set foot on the Moon, passed away on 16 January 2017. He was 82.
Currently, there are only six people who have walked on the moon- Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Charles Duke, Harrison Schmitt, John Young and David Scott.
Eugene Cernan : Cernan began his career as a Naval Aviator flying FJ-4 Fury and A-4 Skyhawk jets.
His time at NASA started with the Gemini program, the precursor to Apollo. Gemini was geared toward working out how humans could survive in space.
Cernan was originally a backup pilot for Gemini 9, but the primary crew was tragically lost in a plane crash just four months before the launch.
Gemini missions successfully completed 47 orbits of the Earth and included a 2-hour spacewalk.
He was one of 14 astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963 for the Apollo program that was created to send humans to the moon.
His first Apollo mission was Apollo 10, which was the mission before the famous moon landing with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
Apollo 10 was launched in May of 1969, just a few months before Apollo 11. It was basically a dress rehearsal for the actual moon landing that was to follow.
Cernan set the foot on the moon as commander of Apollo 17, the final manned mission to the lunar surface. The mission reached the moon’s surface on 19 December 1972.
In addition to being the last man to walk on the moon, Cernan has the distinction of being one of only three people to travel to the moon twice.