posted 06-26-2012 03:47 PM
Today, Eugene Cernan was the guest speaker at the National Aeronautic Association's June luncheon in Arlington, Virginia.
Capt. Cernan spoke about the challenge of building an infrastructure 40 plus years ago in order to permit a manned lunar landing to take place. He also said that while no one has yet returned to the moon since he (and Dr. Schmitt) had on Apollo 17, that he is certain that someday in the not to distant future, humans will again visit the moon.
Afterwards there was a short Q&A session during which I asked whether priority should be given to maintaining a permanent presence in low Earth orbit or to send astronauts on flights back to the moon and beyond. Capt. Cernan stated that the former was exploitation and that the latter was exploration and, while he didn't specifically say which he felt should receive priority, he hinted that it should be the exploration.
While I had a great afternoon at the luncheon, it was hard to believe that it has now been 40 years since Apollo 17 flew during my senior year in high school.