Eugene Cernan was one of fourteen astronauts chosen by NASA in 1963. He participated in Project Gemini as a pilot, Apollo 10 as a lunar module pilot, and Apollo 17 as spacecraft commander. In addition, he also served as a backup for several missions.
Cernan (Čerňan) was born to a Slovak father and a Czech mother; he was raised in Chicago’s suburbs.
Cernan has logged 566 hours and 15 minutes in space. 73 hours were spent on the moon. He is the last man to have left his footprint on the moon’s surface.
Cernan retired from NASA in 1976. He became a businessman and started his own managing and consulting service, The Cernan Corporation, in 1981. His book, The Last Man on the Moon, was at the top of the New York Times best-seller list for many months. In 2014, he shared his story also in a full-length documentary with the same title directed by Mark Craig.
Cernan Earth and Space Center on the campus of Triton College in River Grove, Illinois, was named in honor of Captain Cernan. He is a member of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame and one of only three men who traveled to the moon twice.