Question: You’ve seen the Trivia question about the first words spoken by mankind on another heavenly body, but what were (so far at least) the last words?
A) ‘Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle is lifting off.’
B) ‘Roger, go at throttle up.’
C) ‘Okay, now let’s get off. Forget the camera.’
D) ‘Let’s get this mutha outta here.’
Answer: It’s choice D. The final Apollo lunar mission, Apollo 17, spent about three days on the lunar surface-actually it was 74 hours, 59 minutes, and 40 seconds-between December 11 and December 14, 1972. According to Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham, in his book ‘The All-American Boys’, Gene (Eugene) Cernan, Apollo 17 Commander, spoke to Harrison Schmitt, pilot of the Lunar Excursion Module ‘Challenger’, one second before liftoff, and said those exact words. (There’s also an article about it in the October 3, 2005 issue of the New Yorker magazine.) The official government version of it is a bit cleaner though, if you go by the transcripts produced by the NASA History Office, Office of Policy and Plans, in Washington DC. In their Mission Transcript Collection, you will instead find the words given in choice C (spoken by Commander Cernan in regard to a 16-mm sequence camera). Which one would you believe?