Sunday, December 7, 2008

Launch of the last Moon mission

December 7, 1972 opened with a spectacular nighttime launch of Apollo 17. It was the first launch of an American manned mission at night, and the only night launch of the Apollo program. The next night launch of an American manned mission would not be until 1983.

This was the first Apollo launch that I wasn't able to hear on the radio or watch on TV, as I was in the hospital. I was back home in time to catch some of the lunar EVAs, but the networks were no longer covering them in toto.

This cover is from Apollo 17 Commander Gene Cernan's collection. He had it autographed by his crewmates, and it was postmarked on the 25th and 30th anniversary of the launch. I find it somewhat unusual in that Harrison Schmitt signed this as "Jack" Schmitt. I have not seen any other signed items where he used his nickname. Perhaps it was because he was signing for his crewmate rather than for the general public. This is also the only item I have that is signed by Ron Evans, who died in 1990.

No comments: