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Apollo 17 (33)

"We came in peace for all mankind...

Pad 39 (11) 
Saturn-V AS-512 () 
High Bay 3 
MLP 3 
Firing Room 1 


Mission Objective

The lunar landing site was the Taurus-Littrow highlands and valley area. This site was picked for Apollo 17 as a location where rocks both older and younger than those previously returned from other Apollo missions and from the Luna 16 and 20 missions might be found. 

The mission was the final in a series of three J-type missions planned for the Apollo program. These J-type missions can be distinguished from previous G and H-series missions by extended hardware capability, larger scientific payload capacity and by the use of the battery
powered Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV). 

Scientific objectives of the Apollo 17 mission included geological surveying and sampling of materials and surface features in a preselected area of the Taurus-Littrow region, deploying and activating surface experiments, and conducting inflight experiments and photographic tasks during lunar orbit and transearth coast (TEC). These objectives included: Deployed experiments such as the Apollo lunar surface experiment package (ALSEP) with a Heat Flow experiment, Lunar seismic profiling (LSP), Lunar surface gravimeter (LSG), Lunar atmospheric composition experiment (LACE) and Lunar ejecta and meteorites (LEAM). The mission also included Lunar Sampling and Lunar orbital experiments. Biomedical experiments included the Biostack II Experiment and the BIOCORE experiment. 


December 07, 1972, 12:33:00 a.m. EST from Kennedy Space Center The CSM, LM and SIVB booster stage were inserted 11 min 53 sec after launch into an Earth parking orbit of 91.2 by 92.5 n.mi. After two revolutions, at 08:45:37 GMT, Apollo 17 was inserted into translunar coast. 


Altitude: xxx miles 
Inclination: xxx degrees 
Orbits: 75 revolutions
Duration: 12 Days, 13 hours, 52 min
Surface-Time: 75hr 
Distance: miles 
Lunar Location: Taurus-Littrow 
Lunar Coords: 20.16 degrees North, 30.77 degrees East 


December 19, 1972, Pacific Ocean.  Recovery Ship; USS Ticonderoga. 

Mission Highlights

At 09:15:29 GMT on 12/7/72, the CSM was separated from the SIVB. Approximately 15 min later, the CSM docked with the LM. After CSM/LM extraction from the SIVB, the SIVB was targeted for lunar impact, which occurred on December 10 at 20:32:43 GMT. The impact location was approximately 84nm northwest of the planned target point and the event was recorded by the passive seismic experiments deployed on the Apollo 12, Apollo 14, Apollo 15 and Apollo 16 missions. 

Only one of the four planned midcourse corrections was required during translunar coast. A mid-course correction made at 17:03:00 GMT on 12/8/72 was a 1.6 sec service propulsion system burn resulting in a 10>:5 ft/sec velocity change. Lunar orbit insertion was accomplished at 19:47:23 GMT on 12/10/72 placing the spacecraft into a lunar orbit of 170nm by 52.6 nm. Approximately 4hr 20 min later, the orbit was reduced to 59 by 15nm. The spacecraft remained in this low orbit for more than 18 hr, during which time the CSM/LM undocking and separation were performed. The CSM circularization maneuver was performed at 18:50:29 GMT on 12/11/72 which placed the CSM into an orbit of 70.3 by 54.3 nm. AT 14:35:00 GMT on 12/11/72, the Commander and Lunar Module Pilot
entered the LM to prepare for descent to the lunar surface. At 18:55:42 GMT on 12/11/72, the LM was placed into an orbit with a perilune altitude of 6.2 nm. Approximately 47 min later, the powered descent to the lunar surface began. Landing occurred at 19:54:57 GMT on 12/11/72 at lunar latitude 20 degrees 10min North and longitude 30 degrees 46min East.  Apollo 17 was the last lunar landing mission. 3 EVAs of 22 hours, 04 minutes on the lunar surface. EVA #1 began at 23:54:49 GMT on 12/11/72 with Cernan egressing at 00:01:00 GMT on 12/12/72. The 1st EVA was 7 hr 12 min long and was completed at 07:06:42 GMT on 12/12/72. The second EVA was begun at 23:28:06 GMT on 12/12/72. It lasted 7hr 37min and ended at 07:05:02 GMT on 12/13/72. The final EVA began at 22:25:48 GMT on 12/13/72 and ended at 05:40:56 GMT on 12/14/72. 

The LM ascent stage lifted off the moon at 22:54:37 GMT on 12/14/72. After a vernier adjustment maneuver, the ascent stage was inserted into a 48.5nm by 9.4nm orbit. The LM terminal phase initiation burn was made at 23:48:58 GMT on 12/14/72. This 3.2 sec maneuver raised the ascent stage orbit to 64.7 by 48.5 nm. The CSM and LM docked at 01:10:15 GMT. The LM ascent stage was jettisoned at 04:51:31 GMT on 12/15/72. Deorbit firing of the ascent stage was initiated at 06:31:14 GMT on 12/15/72 and lunar impact occurred 19 min 7 sec later approximately 0.7 nm from the planned target at latitude
19deg 56min North and longitude 30 degrees 32min East. The ascent stage impact was recorded by the four Apollo 17 geophones and by each ALSEP at Apollo-12, Apollo-14, Apollo-15 and Apollo-16 landing sites. 

Evans performed a trans-Earth EVA at 20:27:40 GMT on 12/17/72 lasting 01 hour 06 minutes during which time the CMP retrieved the lunar sounder film and the panoramic and mapping camera film cassettes. 

Apollo-17 hosted the first scientist-astronaut to land on Moon, Schmitt. Sixth automated research station was set up. LRV traverse total 30.5 km. Lunar surface stay-time, 75 hours. In lunar orbit 17 hours. 110.4 kg (243 lbs) of material gathered.


Eugene A. Cernan Commander

Harrison H. Schmitt
 Lunar Module Pilot 

Ronald E. Evans 
Command Module Pilot 

Backup Crew

John W. Young Commander

Charles M. Duke Jr. 
 Lunar Module Pilot 

Stuart A. Roosa 
Command Module Pilot

America (CM-114) Challenger (LM-12) 


12/21/70 - S-IVB ondock at KSC 

05/11/72 - S-1C Stage ondock at KSC 

06/20/72 - S-IU ondock at KSC 

10/27/72 - S-II Stage ondock at KSC 

12/07/72 - Launch 


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