EXPLORATION - What has gone before...
      Apollo 17 - The Last Flight  page1

Harrison Schmitt, Ronald Evans, Eugene Cernan (below)

"Apollo 17 will be just one and a third days short of the US spaceflight duration record of 14 days set in 1965 by Gemini VII, and will be the sixth and final Moon landing in the Apollo program."

This plaque is located in the outside Saturn-V display of the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama...it reads:

                                           CERNAN - EVANS -SCHMITT
Launched: December 7, 1972 - Landed: December 11, 1972 - Splashdown: December 19, 1972
Commander Gene Cernan spoke these words as the last man to walk on the Moon.

Apollo 17 was the final Apollo mission and the crowning achievement of the entire Apollo program.  The mission set numerous Apollo program records:
the longest mission, the greatest amount of time on the Moon's surface, the largest lunar sample, and the longest period orbiting the Moon.  The

universally recognized "Blue Marble" photograph of the Earth was taked during this flight.

The mission was also the only nighttime Apollo launch.  As another first, the crew included Harrison Schmitt - the only scientis (and professional geologist) to land on the Moon.  To further the understanding of the Moon's composition, Schmitt and Cernan collected ancient lunar rocks and soil from 22 locations, bringing home 741 separate samples that weighed almost 250 pounds.

In 2006 Harrison Schmitt wrote a book titled RETURN TO THE MOON.  If you have an interest in what value the Moon can be for humanity I suggest you read his book.
Plaque photograph by BLPlummer
Images courtesy NASA.