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Published: Пт, Января 20, 2017
Science | By Carlton Santiago

Gene Cernan, last man to walk on Moon, dies aged 82

Gene Cernan, last man to walk on Moon, dies aged 82

Astronaut Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, has died aged 82, NASA has announced.

"Our family is heartbroken, of course, and we truly appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers". It's unclear when Cernan will lose his "last person on the moon" title; there are no concrete plans at the moment to send humans back to Earth's nearest neighbor.

In a 2007 interview for NASA's oral histories, Cernan said, "I keep telling Neil Armstrong that we painted that white line in the sky all the way to the Moon down to 47,000 feet so he wouldn't get lost, and all he had to do was land".

In 1971 just months before he commanded the Apollo 17 to the last ever Moon landing he was nearly grounded by Nasa.

Gene Cernan, the last human to walk on the moon, will become the first astronaut to be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in East Austin, officials said Tuesday.

In May 1969, he was the lunar module pilot of Apollo 10, and dramatically descended to within 5 km (50,000 ft) of the Moon's surface to test out the lunar lander's capabilities, paving the way for Apollo 11's first lunar landing two months later.

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Mike Berghoff, chair of Purdue Board of Trustees said, "His accomplishments in space provided generations of Boilermakers, especially Purdue students, evidence that your careers can be built around your dreams and passions". The mission confirmed the performance, stability, and reliability of the Apollo command, service and lunar modules. His two-hour spacewalk took place during the three-day Gemini 9 mission in 1966.

"I also stand here, and I'm wondering what people are going to think, not in another 40 years, but maybe another 100 years - who knows, maybe another 1,000 years", he added.

Another intended moon landing during the Apollo 13 mission turned into a lunar flyby after an oxygen tank explosion crippled the spacecraft. During three EVAs to conduct surface operations within the Taurus-Littrow landing site, Cernan and his crewmate Harrison "Jack" Schmitt collected samples of the lunar surface and deployed scientific instruments. "He was one of a kind and all of us in the NASA Family will miss him greatly".

Cernan, who was a U.S. Navy captain before joining NASA, flew to space three times, and was one of the only three men to have flown to the moon twice.

The final words he spoke there were: "We leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return with peace and hope for all mankind".

And stride across the Moon.

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