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44 Years Ago Man Left the Moon


Tech By Photo by NASA

Though Neil Armstrong’s “small step,” as he became the first man to set foot on the moon, is the lunar soliloquy we all remember, Gene Cernan had a similar moment on December 14, 1972 — 44 years ago today — as he became the last man to leave the moon, aboard Apollo 17.

“America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.”

It’s hard to imagine that Cernan (or the rest of NASA for that matter) would’ve guessed that in nearly half a century, mankind would neither return nor venture outside of low-Earth-orbit. On the bright side, though, it doesn’t seem like it will be another 44 years before we do, thanks to things like Musk’s vision of mars, NASA’s budgetary push, and even a president-elect who seems game to break the surly bonds of earth. Until then, though, we’ll have to sate our appetite for exploration with photos, gear, and a little bit of stargazing.

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