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Gene Cernan, the last Apollo astronaut to walk on the Moon, passed away today.
His words as he stepped off the lunar surface still resonate to me.
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.
At the time, I firmly believed that we would return relatively soon. It has now been almost a half century, and no human since has left Earth orbit.