By Ben Wheeler
STARTLING footage from the Apollo 17 space mission has resurfaced today, on the fifty-fifth anniversary of it becoming the last of the Apollo missions to land on the moon.
The video shows members of the crew making repairs to their Lunar Rover on the surface of the moon as anxious members of staff at NASA’s mission control watch on via video link.
The group of astronauts can also be seen exploring the surface of the moon, with the American flag planting in the background, as one of the crew pick up a small souvenir to take home.
Finally, the Apollo craft can be seen making a crash landing in the sea on its return to Earth on December 19, marking the final act of the Apollo missions which had run from 1961 to 1972 with the aim of landing the first humans on the moon.
The crew of Apollo 17 was made up of Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt.
Incredibly, Apollo 17 is still the most recent moon landing and was the last time humans travelled beyond low Earth orbit.
The 12-day mission also broke several records, becoming the longest moon landing whilst the crew also achieved the feats of having the longest total extravehicular activities as well as completing the longest time in lunar orbit.
Before entering the crew’s Lunar Module for the final time, Commander Cernan commented; “As I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I’d like to just say what I believe history will record. That 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. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”