50th Anniversary of Apollo 17: The Last Mission to the Moon
Most people alive at the time remember the first men on the moon (Apollo 11) but few remember where they were when the Apollo 17 astronauts landed. This course will address why Americans embarked on this mission to investigate the lunar surface firsthand and the role it played in global politics.
Apollo 17 became the last lunar landing mission of NASA’s Apollo program when future flights were canceled due to their astronomical costs. It also represents the most recent time humans have set foot on the Moon or traveled below low Earth orbit. What did scientists learn during the last of these manned missions? How has the data collected from the instrumentation deployed and samples returned helped us better understand more about the Earth as well as the Moon? And will we, or any nation, ever return to the Moon?Ralph Allen is Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, and Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia, where he also served as Associate Vice President for Research. He was one of the small group of scientists chosen to analyze samples of material brought back from the moon on all the manned lunar missions (Apollo 11 to Apollo 17) as well as materials returned by the Russian Luna unmanned missions.
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