1. Jack Schmitt discovered some unusual orange coloured “soil” later found to contain volcanic glass.
2. The Apollo 17 mission patch.
3. Apollo 17 was the eleventh and final mission to carry astronauts in the Apollo space program.
4. The command module was named America and the the ascent stage of the lunar module was Challenger.
The descent stage was left on the Moon at coordinates 20.19080°N 30.77168°E.
LROC Video of the site here.
5. Lunar rovers were used on Apollo missions 15, 16. and 17.
Apollo 17’s Lunar rover Apollo Lunar Surface Journal
6. Apollo 17 was the only Apollo mission to carry the Traverse Gravimeter Experiment (TGE.) The TGE made measurements of the lunar gravity and its variation over time. It also investigated tidal distortions of the shape of the Moon.
7. Jack Schmitt turned to from space exploration to politics and in January 1977 he began a six-year term as one of New Mexico’s Senators in Washington. His was on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and the Select Committee on Ethics.
8. The name of the Apollo 17 recovery ship was USS Ticonderoga.
9. There were no seats in the Lunar Module.
10. The Apollo programme defined 10 mission types from A (unmanned test flights) to J (extended lunar scientific missions). Apollo 17 was a J-type mission.
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 http://www.moonzoo.org/ and start clicking! Follow “live” mission tweets from @moonzoo