Capt. Eugene Andrew "Gene" Cernan, veteran of the Gemini and Apollo programs, died today in Houston.
In December 1972, as commander of Apollo 17, he was the last man to return to the lunar module.
Ever since, generations of spacemen/women from other countries have joined the American and Soviet/Russian pioneers, without touching, however, other alien worlds. In our times of mediocrity, men like Capt. Cernan remind us that our species once did boldly go where no man had gone before.
It remains to be seen whether we can repeat that.
[A] "Eugene Cernan, December 1971". Source: Wikimedia. File in the public domain.
[B] Capt. Cernan in December 1972. Author: Dr. Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17 crew member). Source: Wikimedia. File in the public domain.