Geologist Harrison Schmitt performs Moon tasks during Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.
Credit: NASA

The fifth installment of “Apollo 17: Diary of the Twelfth Man” is now available, commemorating the 45th Anniversary of the December 7, 1972 launch of the Apollo 17 Mission.

Apollo 17 moonwalker, Jack Schmitt, has authored this impressive work with the new addition, Chapter 11, titled “It’s Orange!”

The contrast- and color-balanced version of NASA photo AS17-137-20990 taken by Gene Cernan of the trench dug by Harrison H. Schmitt through the orange surface area that he spotted from the Lunar Roving Vehicle parked nearby on the rim of Shorty Crater. Color-balanced derivative of NASA photo AS17-137-20990; Copyright © 2018 by Tranquillity Enterprises, s.p. Courtesy of Tranquillity Enterprises, s.p.)

Shorty crater

One of the Apollo 17 discoveries took place within the 34-minute stop at Station 4, Shorty Crater, and the discovery there of orange soil.


That finding “may be the single, most important legacy of the Apollo missions to the Moon,” Schmitt writes. “Color photographs of the trench dug by the author through the orange soil on the rim of the crater have never been adequately displayed in the [roughly] half century since the mission. They are presented here for the first time as the author saw and described the colors.”

The original digital scan of the prime film made at Johnson Space Center ca. 2005. It is clear from the gnomon and the over-all pale appearance of the view that both the brightness, contrast and the color need balancing across the image.
Credit: NASA

Record-setting driving

This chapter chronicles the events of Day 2 on the lunar surface and the 7 hr 36 min 56 sec duration of EVA-2, the longest of the mission. During that period, Gene Cernan and Schmitt traveled a record-setting total of 12.66 miles (20.37 kilometers) via their Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV).

In December of 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt explored the Moon’s Taurus-Littrow valley.
Credit: NASA

For the Thanksgiving Holidays (in the USA) and later, “I hope all visitors to Jack’s website will enjoy riding along with him on the continuing saga of America’s last deep space manned mission of the 20th century recounted in “Apollo 17: Diary of the 12th Man,” explains Ronald Wells of Tranquillity Enterprises, s.p. and editor-in-chief of America’s Uncommon Sense – The Website of Apollo 17 Astronaut, Senator Harrison H. Schmitt.




Wells adds: “This very important chapter, of course, is a must read for astronauts in training to return to the Moon!”








To view this impressive and inspiring website, go to:

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