December 17: Eugene Cernan’s regret
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Just when space travel seemed almost normal, Gene Cernan left his Hasselblad camera on the Moon as an experiment in how solar radiation would affect the lens. He assumed that another mission would be able to retrieve and study it firmly believing that the Apollo programme was just the beginning rather than the end of sending humanity to the Moon.
He said: “I left my Hasselblad camera there with the lens pointing up at the zenith, the idea being someday someone would come back and find out how much deterioration solar cosmic radiation had on the glass. So, going up the ladder, I never took a photo of my last footstep. How dumb! Wouldn’t it have been better to take the camera with me, get the shot, take the film pack off and then (for weight restrictions) throw the camera away?”
A Hasselblad camera like the one Gene Cernan left behind
NASA via Daily Mail