The following text was written up by Imgurian ZebraWithRobotLegs. It is expresses his fascination with this photo and captures our own wonder at how awesome this photo is so well, we left it just like he wrote it:
This is a picture of Astronaut Eugene Cernan during EVA 3 on Apollo 17. To me this is probably one of the most amazing pictures I know.
First of Commander Cernan is in the picture. And he is quite the bad ass: He went to the Moon twice. First time was with Apollo 10 and next time was with Apollo 17. He also holds the record for the fastest speed attained by a manned vehicle ever. During its return, Apollo 10 achieved a speed of 39,897 km/h (11.08 km/s or 24,791 mph). He also has the unofficial speed record on the Moon while operating the Lunar Rover. Also he was the last person to have walked on the Moon. He entered the Lunar Module Challanger after Harrison Schmitt who is the only civilian ever to have walked on the Moon.
Schmitt was a Harvard educated geologist. You can see Schmitt in the reflection of Cmd. Cernan visor. Further on, you can see a part of the Lunar Rover. Probably one of, if not the most expensive automobile ever made. Even though the Lunar Rover to some degree was not very useful: This was because of the restriction regarding the distance you could travel in it: In the event of a breakdown, you had to be able to bounce back to safety to the Lunar Module by foot. Still the Lunar Rover represents so much more. It represents our dream and hope of conquering the Moon. We intended to come back for more and therefore needed a more long-lasting form of transportation parked there.
But the main reason I love this picture is because of Cmd. Cernans visor. Almost in the middle of the visor, you can see a small white dot. That dot is the reflection our own planet. So in this picture, every human being ever in existence was captured in this photo. Except one person: Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans. He was in orbit around the Moon when this picture was taken.
As Cernan is the last person to walk on the Moon so far, I find his last words on the Moon a little sad:
“Bob, this is Gene, and I’m on the surface; and, 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.”
Human beings have not returned to the Moon yet.
Here are a few more photos from the Apollo 17 mission…