On December 11, 1972, Apollo 17 touched down on the Moon. This was the final lunar landing mission of the Apollo program, and remains our last visit to the moon. The 3-man crew – Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt – made 75 orbits of the moon and spent over 22 hours on its surface. They brought back over 240 pounds of samples from the moon. Fortunately, back then, they were not required to pay for their excess baggage.
The BBC has an interview with Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan – the last man on the lunar surface on December 14, 1972, who discussed what it was like to be part of history and why he became unhappy about the American space program.
But how did Apollo 17 and the other flights which preceded it manage to get there and back? Amazingly, it all took place because of the theories formulated by Isaac Newton in 1686. His three laws of motion enabled scientists to formulate precisely the three necessary stages of moon exploration: rocket lift-off, rocket momentum, and rocket engine thrust.
You can also take a “real-time” journey through the Apollo 17 mission, reliving every moment, on this terrific site. It has over 300 hours of audio, 22 hours of video, and over 4,200 photos.