Created By The Mercury 7 Astronauts
NASA Astronaut and retired US Navy Captain Eugene Andrew “Gene” Cernan, last man to walk on the Moon and a dear friend and trustee of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, passed away on January 16, 2017 at the age of 82.
Selected by NASA in 1963, Gene was one of only two men who flew to the Moon twice. His Gemini IX mission paved the way for future missions, successfully demonstrating spacecraft docking and spacewalking techniques. He flew to the Moon as the lunar module pilot on Apollo 10 and commander on Apollo 17. As commander, he set several records including the longest time in lunar orbit.
As he prepared to leave the surface of the moon during his Apollo 17 mission, Cernan shared words that still ring true today as he said “I’d just like to record that America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow-Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.” His words remind us that with sufficient commitment and courage, we can accomplish the impossible.
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is eternally grateful to Gene Cernan for his exemplary service to our nation and his generous support of our mission: To aid the U.S. in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing college scholarships for the very best and brightest students pursuing science, technology, engineering or math degrees.
Cernan is survived by his wife, Jan and daughter, Tracy.
Godspeed Captain Cernan