Eugene Cernan Remembered: Photos of the Last Man on the Moon

Eugene Cernan: Astronaut. Icon.

Mark Craig/Last Man on the Moon

Eugene Cernan, commander of NASA's Apollo 17 lunar landing mission and the last man to walk on the moon, died Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. He was 82. See photos from Cernan's space missions and life in our gallery in memoriam.

Flag Salute


Astronaut Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 commander, salutes the deployed United States flag on the lunar surface. Cernan is the subject of the documentary, "Last Man on the Moon."

Joining NASA


Eugene Cernan joined NASA in October 1963 after earning his wings in the U.S. Navy. He ultimately flew three space missions before - Gemini 9, Apollo 10 and Apollo 17 - before leaving the space agency. He retired from the Navy in 1976.

Moon Man Meets Meteorite Man

Meteorite Men/Geoffrey Notkin

Meteorite hunter Geoff Notkin (right) shows a lunar meteorite to Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 astronaut, at Spacefest in Tucson, Arizona on Sunday, May 26, 2013.

Cernan with the US Flag and Earth


On Dec. 12, 1972, Cernan posed for this iconic photo of himself with the American flag on the moon while the Earth shines high overhead. Cernan's Apollo 17 crewmate Harrison "Jack" Schmitt took the photo.

American-made Moon Car


Cernan poses with Apollo 17's Lunar Rover, designed by the Marshall Space Flight Center, on Dec. 12, 1972 during his second moonwalk of the mission.

'The Last Man on the Moon'


Gene Cernan, commander of the last moon landing, tells his story in the new documentary, "The Last Man on the Moon."

Taking a Test Drive


Astronaut Eugene Cernan drives the Lunar Roving Vehicle during the first EVA.

Apollo 17 Third EVA

ASA Public Affairs Image Collection

Scientist-astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 lunar module pilot, starts back up the ladder of the Lunar Module "Challenger" at the close of the third extravehicular activity (EVA) at the Taurus-Littrow landing site, in this black and white reproduction taken from a color television transmission made by the color RCA TV camera mounted on the Lunar Roving Vehicle. On the right is astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, commander, who ingressed the LM a few minutes later. Astronaut Ronald E. Evans, command module pilot, remained with the Apollo 17 Command and Service Modules in lunar orbit. Image taken Dec. 13, 1972.

Candid Camera on Apollo 17


Candid photo of Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt aboard their spacecraft during their December 1973 lunar landing mission with command module pilot Ronald Evans.

Challenger: Cernan's Moonship


The Apollo 17 lunar module, called the Challenger, is seen here as seen from the mission's command module America. Cernan and his crewmate Schmitt used lived and worked on Challenger during their trip to the lunar surface.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.