Last man on the moon Gene Cernan pauses for special reunion
It was a special reunion on a cold day in the shadow of their past achievements.
The last man to walk on the moon, Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan, met with former Canberra-based technical staff from the Deep Space Communications Complex at Tidbinbilla.
Hamish Lindsay, John Saxon, Gene Cernan, Mike Dinn, and current CSIRO director of the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex Dr Ed Kruzins. Photo: Jamila Toderas
Cernan, an 82-year-old former navy pilot captain, arrived in Canberra on Wednesday to host a Q&A session before a screening of the award-winning movie The Last Man on the Moon, based on his autobiography.
When Cernan stepped off the moon in 1972 he famously left his footprints and his daughter's initials in the lunar dust.
When Eugene Cernan stepped off the moon in 1972 he left his footprints and his daughter's initials in the lunar dust. Photo: Jamila Toderas
Mike Dinn, former director of deep space complex, said it was a special day for all involved and a chance to reflect on the heyday of space travel.
"I told him that I was working at Houston on a flight control console during Apollo 17 and he thanked us for the part we played as well as Canberra in the mission," he said.
Mr Dinn, who also worked at the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station near Canberra, said his reunion with former operations supervisors John Saxon and Hamish Lindsay brought back special memories.
He also considered whether Australia would ever recommit to space voyages and use its infrastructure and knowledge to full effect.
Gene Cernan in his spacesuit for the Apollo 10 mission, which brought him within eight nautical miles of the moon surface.
"I would sincerely hope they do," he said. "There have been half-hints there may be improvements to our space policy but no one has ever picked it up and ran with it."
Crenan is one of just seven moonwalkers alive and remains hopeful more men and women will return to the moon and explore Mars.
"The dreamers of today are the doers of tomorrow," he recently told The Canberra Times.
"We are going to go back to the moon, men and/or women are going to land on Mars."
Quelle: The Canberra Times