RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Apollo 17 ascent stage. Artwork of the ascent stage of the Apollo 17 lunar module Challenger lifting off from the Moon at 22:54 UTC on 14 December 1972. The descent stage (centre) remained at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. This was the last of the Apollo missions, with the crew of the lunar module being US astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan. They had explored the area for three days, leaving bootprints and lunar rover tracks (bottom). Cernan's departing words were: '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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