Gene Cernan, a captain in the U.S. Navy and the last man to land on the moon sadly passed away at age 82 this week.
Cernan flew in space three times and travelled twice to the moon, he was the second American to walk in space, and the last human to walk on the lunar surface.
His family said the following about it in a statement to NASA:
“It is with very deep sadness that we share the loss of our beloved husband and father.”
“Our family is heartbroken, of course, and we truly appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers. Gene, as he was known by so many, was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.”
“Even at the age of 82, Gene was passionate about sharing his desire to see the continued human exploration of space and encouraged our nation’s leaders and young people to not let him remain the last man to walk on the Moon,”
He was first selected by NASA in October 1963 along with 14 other astronauts for the Gemini 9 mission as the pilot. Continuing on from this, he went on to serve as the lunar module pilot for the Apollo 10 mission in 1969, and finally the spacecraft commander for the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.
Cernan was then retired from the US Navy after a 20-year long career in 1976, leaving NASA at the same time.
Because of all of this, Cernan has certainly left his mark in space and on Earth, being a part of the last manned mission to the moon for the US and helping us to see beyond our own horizons and leaving us with wonderful moments like this:
He will certainly be missed.
You can read more about his life as an astronaut at the source links below.