Eugene Andrew Cernan
(Capt, USN, Ret.)
(1934 – )
Missions: Gemini 9A, Apollo 10, Apollo 17
Time in Space: 566 hours, 15 minutes
Eleventh person to walk on the Moon
NASA astronaut Eugene Andrew “Gene” Cernan was born on March 14, 1934, in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Purdue University, studying electrical engineering and participating in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. He subsequently received a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the US Naval Postgraduate School in 1963.
Cernan began his career with NASA in October 1963 when he was selected to join the third group of astronauts. He flew three space missions: as Pilot for Gemini 9A in June 1966, during which Cernan became the second American to walk in space; as Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 10 in May 1969, during which he conducted the first voyage of the vehicle to the Moon; and as Commander for Apollo 17 in December 1972, the final manned lunar landing. Cernan became the eleventh person to ever walk on the Moon. In total, he logged 566 hours and 15 minutes in space, of which more than 73 hours were lived on the surface of the Moon and 24 hours and 11 minutes were spent in extravehicular activity.
In 1973, Cernan assumed additional duties as Special Assistant to the Program Manager of the Apollo spacecraft program for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. He retired from NASA and the Navy three years later to go into private business, becoming Executive Vice President-International at the Houston-based Coral Petroleum in 1976.