Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

Created By The Mercury 7 Astronauts

Gene Cernan

Eugene A Cernan

Captain Eugene A. Cernan is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Cernan Corporation, an aerospace technology and marketing consulting firm. He is the former Chairman of Johnson Engineering Corporation, a NASA contractor, prior to its acquisition by SPACEHAB, Inc.

Cernan has acted as a Special Technical Consultant in on-camera support in  covering space and related documentary programming – most notable among which are ABC Television’s News and Special Events and ESPN’s documentary coverage of “Earthwinds Hilton.”  He has recently authored his autobiography, The Last Man On The Moon.

Cernan joined Digital Equipment in 1986 and served as an Executive Consultant for the Aerospace and Government Systems Group organization until 1992. From 1976 to 1981, Cernan served as the Executive Vice President, International and Director of Coral Petroleum, Inc.  He was charged with the corporate development of a world-wide supply and marketing strategy.  During this period, Captain Cernan continued his education at the Wharton School of Finance and Northwestern University.

After serving twenty years as a Naval Aviator, Cernan retired from the United States Navy in 1976.  The last thirteen of those years were dedicated to direct involvement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as an astronaut.  During his years with NASA, Captain Cernan flew on three separate space missions.  He was the second American to walk in space as the pilot on Gemini IX; ventured to the moon on Apollo X, the Pathfinder for the first lunar landing; and as Commander of Apollo XVII Cernan holds the distinction of being the last man to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon.  Cernan also actively participated in the design, engineering, and development testing of spacecraft hardware and systems.  He was a member of the NASA senior management team and reviewed decisions which directly affected operations and mission planning.  From 1973 through 1975, Cernan served as a Senior United States Negotiator during discussions with the USSR concerning the joint United States and Soviet Apollo/Soyuz project.  He  presently represents Bombardier Aerospace, having participated in several record-setting flights of newly certified aircraft, and is an Ambassador of OMEGA Watch Group.

Cernan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering fromPurdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1956.  He earned a Master of Science degreein Aeronautical Engineering in 1963 from the United States Naval Post Graduate Schoolin Monterey, California.  Cernan was also awarded Honorary Doctorates ofEngineering from Purdue, Drexel and Gonzaga Universities, and an Honorary Doctorate degree from Western State College of Law and Comenius University of the Slovak Republic.  His honors include the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with Star, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the FAI International Gold Medal for Space, the VFW Gold Space Award, the Daughters of the American Revolution Medal for Space, the Sons of the American Revolution George Washington Award, induction into the U.S. Space Hall of Fame, the Challenger Center’s “Salute to the U.S. Space Program” Honor, Slovak American World Recognition Award, Czech Republic Presidential Medal of Honor and a Television Emmy.  Cernan was an Olympic Torch Bearer in May, 1996; was honored by the Illinois State Society as Outstanding Illinoisian during the 54th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC., was recipient of the 2003 National Engineering Washington Award; and in May, 2005, Captain Cernan was awarded NASA’s first Ambassador of Exploration Award.

Cernan has been enshrined into the National Aviation Hall of Fame,  the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, and most recently in May 2006 into Naval Aviation’s Hall of Honor.  In October 2006, he received the Federal Aviation Administration’s coveted  Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, and May 2007 he received The Lindbergh Spirit Award presented every five years.  In December, 2007, The National Aeronautic Association presented him with one of the most prestigious aviation trophies in the world, the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, in Washington, DC.  On April 25, 2008, Cernan was honored by receiving the 2008 Rotary National Award for Space Achievement, and he also received the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) Gold Air Medal, one of the most important international awards, in the Fall of 2008.

Cernan is an active member of several professional societies.  Representative among them are the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Association of Naval Aviation, Tail Hook Association, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Astronautical Society, and the Early and Pioneer Naval Aviators Association (“Golden Eagles”).

Cernan was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on March 19, 1993. He currently serves on the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

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