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Last man on moon Cernan left camera there

Eugene Cernan, commander of the Apollo 17 mission and the last man to walk on the moon, spoke May 12, 2010 in Washington before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. He continues to advocate for establishing a NASA base on the moon. Illustrates MOON-CERNAN (category a), by James M. Clash (c) 2012, Bloomberg News. Moved Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. (MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer)

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By Bloomberg News
Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, 9:22 p.m.

Apollo 17 Commander Eugene Cernan, the last man on the moon, has revealed he left a camera on the lunar surface, hoping it would be recovered by future astronauts to measure radiation levels.

On Dec. 14, 1972, Cernan climbed from the moon's dusty surface up the rungs of the Lunar Module ladder, entered his spacecraft and began the journey back to Earth.

Almost 40 years later, he still finds it strange to have been the last man on the moon.

“I honestly believed it wasn't the end but the beginning,” said Cernan, now 78. He thought at the time: “We're not only going back, but by the end of the century, humans will be well on their way to Mars.”

The camera, a Hasselblad, was left with its lens pointing into space.

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