When astronaut Eugene Cernan stepped from the moon’s surface into his spacecraft in December 1972, he was aware it was the end of an era. His mission, Apollo 17, was the last of the Apollos.
“Take your final look at the valley of Taurus-Littrow, except from orbit,” Cernan said of the view before the craft lifted off. “We’re on our way, Houston!”
And with that, the last person to walk on the moon returned to Earth. No other boots have touched lunar soil in the 50 years since then.