Last man on the moon leaves a dying wish

Gene Cernan
Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan wears a spacesuit smeared with lunar dirt in 1972. (NASA Photo)

Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan, the last human to leave footprints on the moon, passed away today – but his family says his dying wish remains to be fulfilled.

“Even at the age of 82, Gene was passionate about sharing his desire to see the continued human exploration of space, and encouraged our nation’s leaders and young people to not let him remain the last man to walk on the moon,” the family said in a statement released by NASA.

The family statement said Cernan had been suffering from ongoing health issues. He died at a Houston hospital, surrounded by relatives.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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