December 10: 10 facts about Apollo 17

1. 40 years after they left prints in the lunar dust the astronauts’ boots left more bootprints on Earth. Gene Cernan went to the Adler Planetarium in his home town of Chicago along with fellow Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt. They made casts of their Apollo boots for the “Shoot for the Moon” exhibit at the Planetarium.

Image The Adler Planetarium FaceBook page

2. Apollo 17’s Harrison Schmitt was the only scientist (a geologist) to visit the Moon.

3. Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum and Phooey were the five astro-mice that accompanied the crew of Apollo 17.

4. The astronauts spent 75 hours on the Moon.

5. They spent 22 hours outside the vehicle on the lunar surface.

6. They travelled 36 kilometres in the lunar rover.

7. Lunar samples were collected at 22 locations in the Taurus-Littrow Valley region.

8. The astronauts collected 741 individual rock and soil samples with a total mass of 111 kilograms.

9. The flag is still standing. See the Apollo 17 flag shadow!

J Fincannon Apollo Lunar Surface Journal

10. Apollo 17 broke several records including the longest lunar landing flight carrying astronauts; the longest total lunar surface extravehicular activities; the largest lunar sample return, and the longest time in lunar orbit.

There is still much to learn from the Apollo 17 mission. Moon Zoo needs your help to explore the Apollo 17 landing site.  Celebrate the anniversary with us. Go to and start clicking! Follow “live” mission tweets from @moonzoo

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About juleswilkinson

Citizen scientist and volunteer. Forum moderator for the Milky Way Project, Solar Stormwatch, Science Gossip and Shakespeare's World. Owner of 3 telescopes, a dog and a meteorite.

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