This Day In Astro History


Last Man on the Moon
Eugene Cernan

December 13

2000 - Scientists, led by Kathie Thomas-Keprta of Lockheed Martin at Johnson Space Center and funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, report  compelling evidence that primitive life existed on Mars. Tiny magnetite crystals, identical to those used by aqueous bacteria on Earth as compasses to find food and energy, have been found in the Martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001. The report on the finding is in the December issue of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta and strongly supports the primitive life on Mars hypothesis of David McKay and coauthors on  August 7, 1996.

1972 - Apollo 17's Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt begin the third and final extra-vehicular activity (EVA) of the last mission to the moon. To date they are the last humans to set foot on the Moon.

"I'm on the surface; and, as I take man's last step from the surface, back home for some time to come but we believe not too long into the future I'd like to just [say] what I believe history will record. That America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return: with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17."

1962 - NASA launches Relay 1, the first active repeater communications satellite in orbit.

1920 - The first stellar diameter (Betelgeuse) is measured by Francis Pease with an interferometer at Mt.Wilson.

Every Year - Geminids meteor shower.
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It is my conclusion that human evolution and the motions of matter in space are intrinsically linked. The observation and understanding of the complexity of biological history on Earth cannot be complete without the tandem observation and understanding of a dynamic greater cosmos. - SpaceGene