Early in the morning of December 7th, 1972, the final Apollo mission to the Moon, Apollo 17, launched from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center carrying Gene Cernan, Ron Evans, Harrison Schmitt to the Taurus–Littrow lunar valley. Apollo 17’s landing location and planned launch time dictated the first night launch of any manned American space mission, and the first (and only) night launch of a Saturn V rocket at 12:33 AM. A technical issue caused a 2 hour delay from the original planned launch time late evening on the 6th.
The mission would span 12 days, 6 of those in Lunar orbit – Cernan and Schmitt would spend 4 days on the lunar surface, with an amazing 22 hours of total time outside the Lunar Module. Also of note on the return to Earth, Evans would conduct a deep-space EVA, similar to that performed on Apollo 16, to retrieve film from an experiment module.
A successful mission to end off the sadly cut-short Apollo program. There’s a ton to talk about with Apollo 17, and maybe in the upcoming week and a half I’ll find some good videos on such. For now though, you already know – launch video! Let’s check it out.
Here we have the Apollo 17 launch with the audio from the crew as a focus – the comments when staging happens are quite special, beyond the very honest comments of the crew during the Saturn V’s quite rough 1st stage.
This clip is a compilation of amateur footage and raw sound from the launch – another treat to capture the “feel” of being there, as well as such can be caught anyway.