• Short Summary

    Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Jack Schmitt returned safely to the orbiting mooncraft "America" on Thursday.?

  • Description

    Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Jack Schmitt returned safely to the orbiting mooncraft "America" on Thursday. Their lunar landing craft "Challenger" shot away from the moon's surface and docked completely according to plan.

    They rejoined cremate Ronald Evans in the commandship, and they have subsequently cast off the "Challenger" and started their return to Earth after what could be the last Moon landing this century.

    SYNOPSIS: Lunar landing vehicle Challenger leaves the moon, astronauts Eugene Cernan and Jack Schmitt return safely to their orbiting space-ship, and a chapter of Man's history finishes. That's how Man said goodbye to the Moon on Thursday.

    Lift off of the top half of the lunar landing craft came dead on schedules at twenty-two fifty-four hours, Greenwich Mean Time, on Thursday. The two astronauts who could be the last men to set foot on the moon this century, had spent a successful seventy-five hours exploring the mysterious and magnificent lunar surface. A colour television camera mounted on the "moon-car" which had ferried them around stayed behind to record the ascent. The astronauts kept their rocket firing for a precise seven minutes.

    This put them in orbit around the moon about thirty-seven miles behind the command ship "America", and seventeen miles below it. An hour later, after final checks, they gave a quick blast on the engine to chase "America", and the tense docking procedures began.

    Ronald Evans took over, looking forward to a reunion after three lonely days spent running a one-man laboratory in space while his colleagues made history on the moon. It took him two goes, but the docking was finally completed, and Cernan and Schmitt crawled through the linking tunnel to the main space-ship.

    Then in Cernan's words, it was "Houston, here we come."

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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