This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division.
At 12:33 a.m. on December 7, 1972, Apollo 17 lifted off in the Florida night on a Saturn V rocket carrying Gene Cernan, Ron Evans, and Jack Schmitt on the final Apollo Moon mission. On December 11, while Evans remained behind, commander Cernan and geologist Schmitt landed in the lunar module Challenger. Over the next 75 hours they conducted the longest lunar exploration in the Apollo program.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was launched in June 2009 and has been gathering data on the lunar environment that will help pave the way for humans to return to the Moon and for future human exploration of our solar system. Photos taken by the LRO of the Apollo 17 site clearly show the tracks of the lunar rover, which remains parked on the Moon, as well as the foot trails of the astronauts who walked there 44 years ago. Remote-sensing observations by the spacecraft have given scientists the data to develop new interpretations of the complex geology of the Taurus-Littrow Valley explored by Apollo 17.
Dr. Noah Petro, lunar geologist and Deputy Project Scientist for the mission will give a free talk in the Library’s Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor, Madison Building: “Walking with the Last Men on the Moon: Revisiting the Apollo 17 Landing Site with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.” The program will begin at 11:30 a.m. and end at 12:30 p.m.
For inquiries about this program contact Stephanie Marcus in the Science, Technology & Business Division at [email protected] or the division office at: 202-707-1212. Individuals requiring accommodations for this event are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]