17 was the sixth and last Apollo mission in which humans walked
on the lunar surface.
17 lifted off after a 2 hour, 40 minute delay due to a malfunction
of a launch sequencer. Launch was on Saturn V from Pad 39A at Kennedy
Space Center and was the first nighttime launch of an Apollo.
11 December 1972 Commander Eugene A. Cernan and LM pilot Harrison
H. Schmitt (the first scientist on the Moon) landed in the Taurus-Littrow
region of the Moon while CM pilot Ronald E. Evans continued in lunar
LM landed on the southeastern rim of Mare Serenitatis in a valley
at Taurus-Littrow, at 20.2 N, 30.8 E. Cernan and Schmitt made three
moonwalk extra-vehicular activities (EVAs) totaling 22 hours, 4
minutes. During this time they covered 30 km using the Lunar Roving
Vehicle, collected 110.5 kg of lunar samples, took photos, set up
the ALSEP and performed other scientific experiments. Evans performed
experiments from orbit in the CSM during this time.
LM took off from the Moon on 14 December and the astronauts returned
to Earth on 19 December.
of the spacecraft, the third of the Apollo J-series missions, was
excellent for all aspects of the mission. The primary mission goals
of investigating the lunar surface and environment in the Taurus-Littrow
region, emplacing and activating surface experiments, performing
experiments in lunar orbit, obtaining and returning lunar surface
samples, and enhancing the capability for future astronaut lunar
exploration were achieved.