December 19, 1972 – The last Lunar Roving Vehicle

The final manned mission to the moon, Apollo 17, began its journey home on this day in 1972, leaving behind the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), the last manned vehicle to be driven on the surface of the moon. The crew consisted of Eugene A. Cernan, Ronald E. Evans and Harrison H. Schmitt. This mission to the moon had two main objectives, to sample lunar highland material that was older than the impact that formed the lava plain Mare Imbrium, and to investigate the possibility of relatively new volcanic activity in the same vicinity. The LRV was brought along for ground transport of equipment including ground-controlled television assembly, the lunar communications relay unit, hi-gain antenna, low-gain antenna, aft tool pallet, lunar tools and scientific gear. The first LRV was used during Apollo 15 in 1971. Photos:Lunar Module Pilot Jim Irwin is standing next to the original Lunar Roving Vehicle during Apollo 15, with Mount Hadley in the background. Credit: NASAAstronaut Eugene A. Cernan, commander, at the controls of of the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) during the early part of the first Apollo 17 Extravehicular Activity (EVA-1) at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. Credit: NASA

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