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New Documentary Follows Apollo 17, America’s Last Moon Mission

Science By

This month marked the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 17 mission, which was the last time humans walked on the moon—or even crossed beyond low-Earth orbit. To honor the milestone, a 20-minute documentary was produced, entitled The Last Steps, using authentic footage and audio from the mission to chronicle the entire event.

The mission, crewed by astronauts Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt, was tasked with exploring the moon’s Taurus-Littrow valley. They piloted a lunar rover on its surface and collected 741 rock and soil samples before returning to Earth.

The Last Steps follows their journey from liftoff to their landing in the Pacific Ocean. In a unique twist, the film only uses genuine archival footage (transmission audio and original photography and film) from NASA, much of it captured by the crew themselves.

One of the most moving pieces of audio is the reading of a statement by President Richard Nixon, who told the astronauts the following:

“As the challenger leaves the surface of the moon, we are conscious not of what we leave behind, but of what lies before us. The dreams that draw humanity forward seem always to be redeemed if we believe in them strongly enough, and pursue them with diligence and courage.”

Watch The Last Steps below.