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Senate Passes Cruz Resolution Honoring Gene Cernan, Last Man on the Moon

Cernan passed away January 16 in Houston at the age of 82

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution sponsored by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), honoring the life and achievements of Eugene A. “Gene” Cernan, a former NASA astronaut, Naval aviator, fighter pilot, and electrical engineer who was the last man to walk on the surface of the Moon. Cernan, a Chicago native, passed away January 16, 2017 in a Houston hospital at the age of 82. The resolution was cosponsored by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).

The full text of the resolution is below:


Honoring the life and achievements of Eugene A. “Gene” Cernan.

  •  Whereas Gene Cernan was born on March 14, 1934, in Chicago, Illinois, was raised in the suburban towns of Bellwood and Maywood, and graduated from Proviso Township High School;
  • Whereas Gene Cernan began his career as a basic flight trainee in the United States Navy;
  • Whereas Gene Cernan was one of fourteen astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963 to participate in the Gemini and Apollo programs;
  • Whereas Gene Cernan was the second American to have walked in space having spanned the circumference of the world twice in a little more than 21⁄2 hours in 1966 during the Gemini 9 mission;
  • Whereas Gene Cernan served as the lunar module pilot for Apollo 10 in 1969, which was referred to as the “dress rehearsal” for Apollo 11’s historic landing on the Moon;
  • Whereas Gene Cernan was commander of Apollo 17 in 1972, during the last human mission to the Moon;
  • Whereas Gene Cernan maintains the distinction of being the last man to have left his footprints on the surface of the Moon;
  • Whereas Gene Cernan was one of the three men to have flown to the Moon on two occasions;
  • Whereas Gene Cernan logged 566 hours and 15 minutes in space, of which more than 73 hours were spent on the surface of the Moon;
  • Whereas Gene Cernan and the crew of Apollo 17 set records that still stand today, for longest manned lunar landing flight, longest lunar surface extra vehicular activities, largest lunar sample return, and longest time in lunar orbit;
  • Whereas Gene Cernan retired from the Navy after 20 years and ended his NASA career in July 1976; and
  • Whereas, on January 16, 2017, Gene Cernan passed away in Houston, Texas, leaving behind a vibrant history of space exploration and advocacy for NASA, a legacy of inspiring young people to “dream the impossible”, and a documentary that encourages continual human space exploration: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate honors the life of Gene Cernan, a Naval aviator, fighter pilot, electrical engineer, and the last astronaut to walk on the Moon.