December 19: Splashdown

After 13 days in space Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison (Jack) Schmitt aboard the Apollo 17 command module Challenger parachuted to a safe splashdown at 19:20 GMT on 19 December 1972, 648 km southeast of American Samoa. The last humans to have walked on the Moon.

Challenger makes a perfect splashdown

The crew arrive by helicopter aboard the rescue ship Ticonderoga

images NASA

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.

3 responses to “December 19: Splashdown”

  1. Lynn Davis says :

    This is a comment to the webmaster, I guess, about navigating Moonzoo; I was drawn to the e-mail announcement of LRO images of Apollo landing sites and views of the LM’s and related objects but there was no direct link to a specific URL or URL’s – it took me 20 minutes of link jumping to finally get to the marvelous images. If a URL such as:

    had been provided, I would have had a much less frustrating experience. Hope someone at Moonzoo reads the blog, because I couldn’t find a “contact” link.

    • juleswilkinson says :

      Hi Lynn,
      The e-mail was highlighting the fact that Moon Zoo would be using these images for the duration of the Apollo 17 mini-project rather than promoting the images themselves as we wanted people to take part! We did, however, highlight some of the LRO images via the blogs and tweets. And you are right – the landing site images are indeed marvellous. You might like this article too:

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