Apollo 17 40th Anniversary December 1st

Apollo 17 40th Anniversary December 1st

Apollo 17 40th Anniversary December 1st

Spend a once-in-a-lifetime evening with legendary astronauts and mission control specialists at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, as we honor the last of the Apollo 40th anniversaries. We’re not only celebrating Apollo 17, the final moon mission, we’re honoring Mercury, Gemini and Apollo—America’s pioneering space efforts, which continue to inspire our next greatest generations.

The Mercury and Gemini Programs: Proving the Impossible

The Apollo moon landings could not have happened without two vital programs that came before it – Mercury and Gemini. The Mercury program was America’s first human foray into space, sending six astronauts solo on increasingly complex missions. The two-seat Gemini craft that followed it was the first American spacecraft capable of changing orbit, rendezvousing, docking, and allowing astronauts to perform spacewalks. All of the vital skills for future Apollo missions were learned and practiced in over ten manned flights – proving that it could
be done.

Apollo 17: End of the Beginning
Apollo 17 Crew Shot

Apollo 17 was the sixth and last mission to land humans on the moon. In the four decades since, we have not been back – in fact, humans have never left Earth orbit again. The mission’s final steps on the moon have come to symbolize the entire Apollo program.

Launched on December 7, 1972, Apollo 17 reached the moon three days later. While Command Module Pilot Ron Evans remained in the America, mission commander Gene Cernan and Lunar Module Pilot Jack Schmitt carefully descended to the moon in the LEM Challenger. Evans orbited above conducting science experiments and observing the lunar surface. Cernan and Schmitt explored the valley of Taurus-Littrow using their lunar rover to traverse long distances, spending more time exploring and retrieving more lunar samples than any previous mission.
Splashdown on December 19 brought an end to the longest lunar landing mission of the entire Apollo program.

The mission of Apollo did not end in 1972 – the human drive to explore, to the moon and beyond, is a dream that will not die. Perhaps more important than the scientific results, the lasting legacy of Apollo 17 is the continued inspiration of future generations to return to deep space and leave their own footprints.

Apollo 17 Crew: The Last of the First

Gene Cernan
Gene Cernan

Gene Cernan is one of a very small group of people who had the good fortune to visit the moon twice. His first flight, however, was aboard Gemini 9 in 1966, when he made a daring and risky spacewalk. He first flew to the moon as the Lunar Module pilot of Apollo 10, swooping to just a few miles above the lunar surface on a dry run of the Apollo 11 mission. Gene’s last flight was as the commander of Apollo 17, leaving the very last footprints on the moon (for now) and officially closing the Apollo chapter of lunar surface exploration.


Jack Schmitt
Jack Schmitt

Who was truly the last man on the moon? As the twelfth of twelve to set foot on the surface, Harrison “Jack” Schmitt could make that claim, although as his commander Gene Cernan will point out, Gene stayed outside longer and took the final steps on the moon. Schmitt’s record is undisputed, however, as being the only professional geologist to work on the moon’s surface. Having worked on training astronauts in geology in Arizona, Schmitt was chosen as one of NASA’s first scientist-astronauts in 1965. Seven years later he was on the surface of the moon, putting his extensive training to good use at one of the moon’s most geologically intriguing sites.


Ron Evans
Ron Evans

Ron Evans spent three days alone orbiting the moon while his two colleagues worked on the surface, operating scientific instruments and cameras that explored new regions of the moon from above. On the way back to Earth, when it was time to collect the film from these scientific cameras, Evans performed a one-hour spacewalk in the deep space between Earth and moon to retrieve them. Apollo 17 was his only spaceflight, although he also served on a number of Apollo backup crews. Ron Evans passed away in April, 1990.

Schedule of Events:

Time: 6:00 pm - Cocktails
7:00 pm - Introductions – Dinner
7:30 pm - Program commences

Location: San Diego Air & Space Museum Pavilion of Flight

Attire: Business Attire

Special Guests:

Gene Cernan - Apollo 17 Mission Commander
Jack Schmitt - Apollo 17 Lunar Module Pilot
Jan Evans – Representing the late Ron Evans (Apollo 17 Command Module Pilot)
Dick Gordon - Gemini XI Pilot and Apollo 12 Command Module Pilot
Buzz Aldrin: Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 Moonwalker
Charlie Duke:  Apollo 16 Moonwalker
And other Gemini and Apollo astronauts and mission control specialists.

Autographs will not be permitted at this event.

Event Pricing:

Reception and Dinner (Per Seat) - $195
Reception and Dinner (Table of 10) - $1950

Special Offer:

Museum Members and/or those who purchased tickets to attend our 2012 Hall of Fame Gala will receive $20 off their ticket to attend this event. Please contact Becky Conrad at bconrad@sdasm.org or 619.234.8291 x102 to purchase your ticket.

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