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In this Apollo 17 onboard photo, Lunar Module pilot Harrison H. Schmitt collects rock samples from a huge boulder near the Valley of Tourus-Littrow on the lunar surface. The seventh and last manned lunar landing and return to Earth mission, the Apollo 17, carrying a crew of three astronauts: Schmitt; Mission Commander Eugene A. Cernan; and Command Module pilot Ronald E. Evans, lifted off on December 7, 1972 from the Kennedy Space Flight Center (KSC). Scientific objectives of the Apollo 17 mission included geological surveying and sampling of materials and surface features in a preselected area of the Taurus-Littrow region, deploying and activating surface experiments, and conducting in-flight experiments and photographic tasks during lunar orbit and transearth coast (TEC). These objectives included: Deployed experiments such as the Apollo lunar surface experiment package (ALSEP) with a Heat Flow experiment, Lunar seismic profiling (LSP), Lunar surface gravimeter (LSG), Lunar atmospheric composition experiment (LACE) and Lunar ejecta and meteorites (LEAM). The mission also included Lunar Sampling and Lunar orbital experiments. Biomedical experiments included the Biostack II Experiment and the BIOCORE experiment. The mission marked the longest Apollo mission, 504 hours, and the longest lunar surface stay time, 75 hours, which allowed the astronauts to conduct an extensive geological investigation. They collected 257 pounds (117 kilograms) of lunar samples with the use of the Marshall Space Flight Center designed Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV). The mission ended on December 19, 1972
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