NASA Goddard – This video celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 17 by talking with Lunar Module Pilot Jack Schmitt about the significance of that mission and how it laid the groundwork for future human exploration of the Moon.
Jack also discusses how the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which launched in 2009, has helped reinterpret Apollo-era data and given us new information about the lunar terrain that will help pave the way for the upcoming Artemis missions.
Apollo 17 was the sixth and final Apollo mission to land on the Moon. Following a 2-hour 40-minute delay, it launched at 11:33 p.m. CST on December 6, 1972, the only night launch of the Apollo program. Prior missions had explored the Moon’s early volcanic history and the role of large impact basins such as Imbrium. Accordingly, Apollo 17 was planned to collect ancient highlands crustal material far from the Imbrium basin and to search for possible young lunar volcanic activity, which would help to constrain our knowledge of the Moon’s thermal evolution.
- Video Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
- Produced and Edited by: David Ladd (AIMM)
- Data Visualizations by: Ernie Wright (USRA)