Gene Cernan, the last man on the Moon, passed away today from ongoing health issues. He went into space three times, as the pilot of Gemini 9A, Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 10 and Commander of Apollo 17. He is the eleventh man to walk on the moon.
Being the last person to ascend the ladder into the lunar module, Gene spoke these words:
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.