This last Apollo mission is less famous than previous missions, such as Apollo 11 whose astronauts completed the first Moon walk, or Apollo 13, where the words, "Houston we have a problem" were inscribed in history after an explosion ruptured an oxygen tank.
The Apollo 17 crew spent 75 hours on the Moon, crossed 35 kilometersmiles) of Lunar terrain and collected a total of 110 kilograms (225 pounds) of lunar samples, more than any other mission.
The last mission also returned a famous picture of earth as seen from the moon.
Eugene Cernan, commander of Apollo 17, still holds the distinction of being the last man to walk on the Moon, where no humans have visited since December
Apollo 17 enabled the United States to reach the ambitious goals set in 1961 by president John F. Kennedy.
Ten years of silence from NASA followed the last Apollo mission, until the space shuttle Columbia launched into space in 1981.