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Retired Astronaut Eugene Cernan Visits Torino Olympics

Last Man on Moon Walks Through Olympic Village


Retired Astronaut Eugene Cernan Visits Torino Olympics

Retired Astronaut Eugene Cernan Visits Torino Olympics

Omega Corporation
On December 11, 1972, the Apollo 17 crew were the last men to set foot on the moon. While Ronald Evans manned the command module in orbit around the moon, Commander Eugene Cernan and his crewmate, scientist Harrison Schmidt drobe the lunar buggy 21 miles over the lunar surface, gathering samples. As they departed, they left behind a plaque that reads: "Here Man completed his first exploration of the Moon, December 1972 A.D. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind." The last to leave the surface to ascend into the lunar module was Eugene Cernan who stated, "America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow."

Recently, Eugene Cernan, now retired from NASA, visited Torino, Italy as a guest of the Omega corporation, Official Timekeeper of the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Mr. Cernan called his adventures with NASA and Apollo 17 "my own Olympic Games." He compared similarities between the achievement of athletes who train for years and overcome enormous obstacles to reach the Olympic Games with Apollo 17. The similarity was also evident, he said, "in the athletes’ desire to share an exceptional achievement with their fans and fellow countrymen and with the team that made their performance possible."

Naturally, as the guest of Omega, Mr Cernan spoke of the progress made in sports timekeeping over the years. He reflected that time was kep with stop watches when he was a youth, allowing human error, while today’s timekeeping systems had virtually eliminated the possibility for human errors to impact the results. During his space missions with NASA, Mr. Cernan also wore a timepiece made by Omega.

Gene Cernan’s first voyage into space was on the Gemini 9 mission, launched on June 3, 1966, during which he made a record 2 hour 10 minutes space walk. He flew again to the moon in May of 1969 and returned as commander of the Apollo 17 mission, when he spent over 22 hours walking on the moon and explored 21 miles of the moon’s surface.

Later the same day Mr. Cernan returned to the Omega Pavilion, where he boarded a bobsleigh for a photo session and met with guests of the company and local VIPS in the Omega Lounge.

Note: Parts of this article were made possible by a press release from Omega who say, "Visitors to the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games are invited to visit the Omega Pavilion at the Galleria San Federico, Via Roma 54, Turin, Italy."
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