“THE FINAL STEPS OF APOLLO”: LUNAR MAP INSCRIBED BY GENE CERNAN, THE LAST APOLLO ASTRONAUT TO WALK ON THE MOON
(CERNAN, Gene). Map inscribed [Lunar Topographic Orthophotomap from the Apollo XVII landing]. Washington: Defense Mapping Agency, 1974. Single sheet, measuring 25-1/2 by 26-1/2 inches. Housed in a custom cloth portfolio. $5800.
Second edition of this lunar topographic map, compiled from Apollo orbital film, boldly inscribed: “The valley of Taurus Littrow—Home of the final steps of Apollo. Dec. 11-14, 1972. Gene Cernan, CDR Apollo XVII.”
Cernan "made his third space flight as spacecraft commander of Apollo XVII—the last scheduled manned mission to the moon for the United States—which commenced at 11:33 P.M. CST, December 6, 1972, with the first manned nighttime launch, and concluded on December 19, 1972… In maneuvering [lunar module] Challenger to a landing at Taurus-Littrow, located on the southeast edge of Mare Serenitatis, Cernan and [Harrison] Schmitt activated a base of operations from which they completed three highly successful excursions to the nearby craters and the Taurus mountains, making the Moon their home for over three days. This last mission to the moon established several new records for manned space flight that include: longest manned lunar landing flight (301 hours 51 minutes); longest lunar surface extravehicular activities (22 hours 6 minutes); largest lunar sample return (an estimated 115 kg [249 lbs.]); and longest time in lunar orbit (147 hours 48 minutes)… [Cernan] had the privilege and distinction of being the last man to have left his footprints on the surface of the moon" (NASA). The map, with contour lines printed in red, covers an area from 20 to 24 degrees north latitude and from 30 to 35 degrees east longitude.