Last moonwalker calls space station crew, compares elbow room in orbit
The last man to walk on the moon made an unexpected call to the most recent men to live in space Tuesday (Feb. 5) during a visit to NASA's Mission Control in Houston.
Gene Cernan, who in December 1972 commanded Apollo 17, the sixth and final lunar landing mission, was touring the Johnson Space Center with some friends when he was invited by flight controllers to talk with ISS Expedition 34 commander Kevin Ford and flight engineers Chris Hadfield and Tom Marshburn live from the U.S. Destiny laboratory on board the International Space Station (ISS), 260 miles (415 kilometers) above the Earth.
"I didn't know I was going to be able to do this," Cernan told the station's crew. The moonwalker, who was using a phone receiver to talk with the astronauts in space, could see Ford, Marshburn and Hadfield on the large screens at the front of the control center room.
The ISS residents were in turn able to see Cernan via live streaming video on one of their laptop computers.
"I'm personally proud," Cernan commented. "I'm at the age now where most of you were probably in diapers or knee pants when I went to the moon, but at least what we did worked because it inspired you to do what you're doing."