Some great shots already. I've really enjoyed trying to bring something different to the comp the last couple of months so I thought that I'd do the same for what looks like the last.
To date, mankinds last manned landing on another world.
'Okay, Gordo, I’ve got Nansen; I’ve got Lara; and I’ve got the Scarp…. oh, man, we’re level with the top of the Massifs now!' Gene Cernan - CDR Apollo 17
The lunar module, built by Grumman Aircraft on Long Island essentially had fixed undercarriage. Prior to undocking from the CSM, the gear was extended by pyrotechnics and was fixed in place. Retraction was not possible making it the most expensive fixed gear flying machine ever created.
Apollo 17 was the last Apollo lunar landing. Veteran Gene Cernan was given command, his sidekick in the Lunar Module was Harrison Schmitt who was a field geologist by trade and was taught to be a pilot and astronaut by NASA. Remaining high above in orbit was Ron Evans, a navy fighter pilot.
Due to the high latitude of the landing site, 17 was the only night launch of America's manned space program until the shuttle flew.
Apollo 17 was, fittingly, the most comprehensive exploration of the moon during the program. Cernan and Schmitt landed in the Taurus-Littrow valley, a challenging and interesting geological site. The pair completed three EVAs spending the longest time outside of any of the Apollo crews.
There is far too much to say about 17... maybe this last photo from the flight sums up what the Apollo program was really about.... Mankind looking back at his home for the first time.