Lunar anniversary

Posted by Anonymous
on Thursday, December 14, 2006

Today marks 34 years since Apollo 17's Eugene Cernan became the last astronaut to tread on the Moon's surface. He and Harrison H. Schmitt, the first scientist on the Moon, landed on the lunar surface December 11, 1972. The lunar module took off from the Moon December 14, 2006, and the astronauts returned to Earth on the 19th.

Besides lunar strolls, Neil Armstrong and Cernan — the first and last person to do so respectively — have something else in common: both are graduates of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue alumni have flown U.S. space flights ranging from Project Mercury to the shuttle missions.

No other public university has produced more astronauts than Purdue's 22. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (a private university) is the only other non-military institution to have more graduates selected for NASA missions (33). Besides these two schools, only Stanford University, the United States Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy can claim 20 or more astronaut alumni.

 Forgive me for tooting the horn for my alma mater on the banks of the Wabash.

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