The last man on the Moon

 

lastmenonmoonMention Neil Armstrong and every one will know who he is and even what he said when he set foot as the first man on the Moon.

However the name Eugene Cernan will mean very little to most people. Although he was just as important to the Apollo missions. Eugene Ceman was the last man on the Moon, but he was also part of the Apollo 10 mission.

Apollo 10 was  the second manned mission(Apollo 8,had been the first) to orbit the Moon. Launched on May 18, 1969, it was the F mission: (the ‘dress rehearsal’ for the first Moon landing) testing all of the components and procedures, without actually landing on the surface.

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It was also the mission which set the  highest speed attained by a manned vehicle.24,791 mph on its return to earth on May 26 1969.

Eugene Cernan Cernan flew two other space missions: Gemini 9A, where he struggled during NASA’s second spacewalk ever. Cernan was originally selected with Thomas Stafford as backup pilot for Gemini 9. When the prime crew was killed in the crash of NASA T-38A “901” (USAF serial 63-8181) at Lambert Field on February 28, 1966, the backup crew became the prime crew—the first time this happened.

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Cernan was surprised, as were others, that he was selected as the commander for the Apollo 17 mission. Shortly before the selection of the crew, Cernan had crashed his helicopter. After the crash he said  “if he couldn’t fly a helicopter without incident, how could he command a journey to the moon?”  Richard F. Gordon Jr. would have been a more likely candidate as commander for the mission, partially because he had been a member as the back up crew of the cancelled Apollo 15 mission together with Harrison H. Schmitt.

Schmitt was a geologist, making him the first scientist-astronaut to land on moon.He was assigned as Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 17 mission.

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Scientific objectives of the Apollo 17 mission included, geological surveying and sampling of materials and surface features in a pre-selected area of the Taurus-Littrow region; deploying and activating surface experiments.

Cernan’s role as commander of Apollo 17 closed out the Apollo program’s lunar exploration mission with a number of record-setting achievements. During the three days of Apollo 17’s surface activity (Dec. 11-14, 1972), Cernan and Schmitt performed three EVAs (Extravehicular Activities)or Spacewalk and moonwalk in this case, of  a total of about 22 hours of exploration of the Taurus–Littrow valley. Their first EVA alone was more than three times the length astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent outside the Lunar Module.

As Cernan was getting ready  to climb the ladder for the final time, he spoke these words; which are the last spoken by a human standing on the Moon’s surface to date:

“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.”

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Sadly Eugene Cernan died on January 16, 2017 but what a legacy he left behind, they just don’t make them like that anymore. A true hero.

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Sources

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Would you believe they put a man on the moon? Well buried him actually.

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Eugene Merle Shoemaker (April 28, 1928 – July 18, 1997), also known as Gene Shoemaker, was an American geologist and one of the founders of the field of planetary science. He is best known for co-discovering the Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 with his wife Carolyn S. Shoemaker and David H. Levy. This comet hit Jupiter in July 1994: the impact was televised around the world

Dr. Gene Shoemaker died Friday, July 18, 1997 (Australian Time) in Alice Springs, Australia in a car accident. He was in the field, pursuing his lifelong passion of geologic studies to help understand impact craters with his wife and science partner, Carolyn Shoemaker. Carolyn survived the accident sustaining various injuries.

Shoemaker’s friends and family knew that he would want to forever rest among the cosmos. And as luck would have it, a company called Celestis has been conducting “memorial spaceflights” for 23 years now.

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Celestis finds extra room on space launches and sends up the ashes along with the crafts. The equipment that the ashes are stored on ends up in Earth’s orbit, and upon re-entry, the equipment and the ashes burn up. For Shoemaker, however, Celestis agreed to do something different. A colleague of Shoemaker believed that the man who had dedicated his life to science, who wanted nothing more in life than to journey to the cosmos as an astronaut, would be ecstatic to make it to the moon in death. The folks at Celestis took on the special request and made it happen.

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On January 6, 1998, NASA’s Lunar Prospector took off for the south pole of the moon on a mission to look for ice. Also aboard the craft was an ounce of Eugene Shoemaker’s ashes. The man’s remains were wrapped in a piece of brass foil. His name was laser-etched into the brass, along with an image of the Hale-Bopp Comet, an image of Arizona’s Meteor Crater where Shoemaker trained astronauts, and a quote from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet:

“And, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,And pay no worship to the garish sun.”

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The mission lasted about a year and a half and ended on July 31, 1999, when NASA deliberately crashed the craft onto the surface of the moon. Shoemaker’s remains crashed into the moon along with the craft, making him the only human being to be buried there.

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Urban Myths you just wished were true.

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Sometime you hear these stories or tall tales that turn out to be completely untrue or just have a small element of truth, and often the stories are repeated for year. Urban Myths is what they turn out to be, but sometimes you wish these Urban Myths or Legends were just true because they really spark your imagination.

Good luck, Mr. Gorsky

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The story being that while a child, Neil Armstrong , playing baseball, through an open window he heard his Neigbor Mrs. Gorsky yell at her husband: “Oral sex, you want oral sex? When the kid next door walks on the Moon!”

During November 1995, a clever (and slightly risqué) story was widely circulated on the Internet concerning a statement Neil is supposed to have made during the Apollo 11 EVA. At the suggestion of several readers, let me state that Neil never said “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky” at any time during the mission. Indeed, on November 28, 1995, Neil wrote for the ALSJ, “I understand that the joke is a year old. I first heard it in California delivered by (comedian) Buddy Hacket.

Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen

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This one may sound farfetched to some but this legend has been going around for decades. It is often said that legendary cartoonist, Walt Disney had himself frozen while waiting for a lung cancer cure, in hopes of returning to life once the cure was found. Taking it a step further, it is also said his body was cryo-preserved somewhere in the theme park, many believing under the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. This one unfortunately isn’t true. He was cremated after death – however, the first-ever cryogenic freezings did take place soon after his death.

The kidney heist

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In this tale, a young man is either seduced by a beautiful woman or pays for an escort. The following morning, he awakens in a bathtub full of ice to find one of his kidneys has been removed for sale on the black market.

Carrots Help You See in the Dark

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Eating carrots and other vegetables rich in vitamin A helps you see better at night.

This is a myth created by British Ministry of Information,during WWII, as a way to boost morale and make war-weary citizens feel like they could help the war effort by growing carrots that could, in turn, be sent to fighter pilots fighting the Germans. They also wanted children to feel like eating vegetables was better than eating sweets, which were strictly rationed.

Somehow it became common knowledge that eating carrots helped your night vision, but there’s really no science behind the claim.

The CIA’s Whale Parade

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During the Cold War, a rumor arose that the CIA had the unlikeliest agent on its roster: a dead fin whale named Goliath. Caught by Norwegian whalers in the 1950s, Goliath was mounted on a truck and toured all over Europe well in the 1960s. While already bizarre in itself (parading a dead whale is kind of weird), conspiracy theorists argued that the whole thing was a cover-up for more a more nefarious purpose, especially after the whale arrived in Hungary.

Allegedly, the CIA wanted to test if the roads of Hungary could handle the load of nuclear missiles loaded on trucks. To avoid arousing suspicion, they opted to substitute the dead whale for the missiles. The truck carrying the whale eerily resembled one used to carry nuclear missiles, according to conspiracy theorists.

No concrete proof was ever presented, and the Hungarian crowd loved Goliath. Tickets were sold out everywhere he went.

Philadelphia Experiment

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The Philadelphia Experiment is an alleged military experiment supposed to have been carried out by the U.S. Navy at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sometime around October 28, 1943. The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Eldridge (DE-173) was claimed to have been rendered invisible (or “cloaked”) to enemy devices.

The story first appeared in 1955, in letters of unknown origin sent to a writer and astronomer, Morris K. Jessup. It is widely understood to be a hoax;the U.S. Navy maintains that no such experiment was ever conducted, that the alleged details of the story contradict well-established facts about USS Eldridge, and that the claims do not conform to known physical laws.

The assassination of Glen Miller by the Gestapo.

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The famous American big band leader Glenn Miller, who died in a plane crash, was either killed by German agents, or accidentally blown up by British bombers dumping their bombs.

Miller, a Major in the US Army Air Force, was flying from England to Paris in late 1944 to give a concert for troops there when his plane crashed and all on board were killed. Hampered by bad weather and poor visibility, the small plane they were on was lost at sea, and vanished. Conspiracy theories abound that he was knocked off by German agents, or was the victim of friendly fire from British bomber aircraft, but they aren’t supported by evidence, only individual accounts that can’t be confirmed.

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Overshadowed Historical events.

I did a blog recently about JFK and found out that the same day JFK was assassinated , the authors CS Lewis and Aldous Huxley had died. This made me wonder how more historical event were forgotten because they were over shadowed by even bigger events. Below are a few examples.

Harriet Quimby

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Although her name is nowadays remembered by a small group of people, Harriet Quimby was one of the greatest early female aviators. In 1911, Quimby became the first woman in the country to get her pilot’s license with the Aero Club of America. When she wasn’t busy flying planes recreationally, Harriet Quimby enjoyed quite a successful career in Hollywood by writing screenplays that were turned into silent shorts.

Eventually, Quimby set her sights on more ambitious projects and was soon planning a flight across the English Channel, a first for a female pilot. She completed it on April 16, 1912 by taking off from Dover and landing 59 minutes later on a beach near Calais in France. She officially became the first female pilot to fly the Channel, but her feat drew little interest from the media. It’s not that it wasn’t newsworthy, but something really big just the day before completely captured the public’s attention.

On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank during its maiden voyage.

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Quite understandably, all other events took a backseat in the press. And unfortunately for Harriet, she didn’t get to enjoy her legacy once the frenzy around the Titanic subsided, either. Just two and a half months later, Harriet Quimby died in an accident during an aviation contest in Boston.

Dr Who

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The longest running Sci-Fi show nearly didn’t happen. Like the aforementioned deaths of CS Lewis and Aldous Huxley, the pilot episode of Dr Who had been scheduled on the 22nd of November 1963. The day of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

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The BBC did broadcast the pilot episode again a week later.

John Fairfax

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On January 20, 1969, Fairfax set off on his own from the Canary Islands in a boat. On July 19, he arrived in Florida, becoming the first person to row across an ocean solo.

Fairfax became the talk of the town, but only for a day. His bad timing didn’t allow him to bask in the adulation of the media because the very next day, something truly historic was happening. On July 20, 1969, all of humanity was watching as the Apollo 11 astronauts became the first humans to walk on the Moon.

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Steamboat Sultana

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The greatest maritime disaster in United States history occurred on April 27, 1865, when the steamboat Sultana had a boiler explosion, sinking the ship and killing an estimated 1,800 of her 2,427 passengers.

Unfortunately, another event happened across the Mississippi River: the death of President Abraham Lincoln and his assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

1959: U.S. and Soviets on Brink of War; Nobody Notices

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On Feb. 3, 1959, Soviet border guards stopped a convoy of four U.S. Army trucks headed from West Berlin, on a routine trip from the free section of the divided German capital, through communist territory to East Germany. After the Americans refused an inspection, the Soviets seized the trucks, along with five American personnel, and held them captive overnight. New York Times correspondent Arthur J. Olsen wrote this kidnapping “appeared to be a planned test” of the U.S. ability to support a garrison in West Berlin.

It took a high-level official protest from the U.S. embassy in Moscow to get the Soviets to finally release the prisoners and let their trucks through the checkpoint more than two days later

On a different day, the Soviet provocation might have dominated the newspapers. But a plane carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson also took off from Mason City, Iowa, and crashed, killing the rock ‘n’ roll stars and their pilot, Roger Peterson. Feb. 3 became known as “The Day the Music Died,” not a day when Cold War tensions simmered.

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Michael Chekhov

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As an actor, Michael Chekhov was probably best known for his role in Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound, for which he was nominated for an Oscar (Best Supporting Actor.) As an acting instructor, Chekhov wrote a book called To The Actor, which is still cited as a developmental tool by actors such as Johnny Depp today. Chekhov would count among his students such luminaries as Marilyn Monroe, Lloyd Bridges, Anthony Quinn, Clint Eastwood, Elia Kazan, and Yul Brynner. But on September 30th 1955, Michael Chekhov’s death was not even a news story compared to another person who would become associated with method acting.

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When James Dean died in a car crash on September 30, 1955, the world stopped and nothing else happened for the rest of the year. Dean was only 24, and had primarily been a television actor. Dean was starting to break through in movies though, with moving performances in East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause. It was Rebel that catapulted Dean to icon status. He had just finished work on his final film, Giant. As a symbol of eternal youth, Dean would quickly become legend. And while even Dean himself would have probably admitted that Chekhov had the more influential career, it is his death, now Chekhov’s, that still resonates to this day.

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