Capt. Eugene "Gene" Cernan, a naval aviator and astronaut, will speak in Tucson in May as part of an event organized by the Friends of the University Libraries.
Cernan is the keynote speaker during the organization's annual luncheon. The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. May 3 at the Arizona Inn. The Friends of the University Libraries raises money for the University of Arizona's library division.
Cernan, the commander astronaut of the Apollo 17 mission to the moon that launched Dec. 7, 1972, will talk about his walk on the moon and mission experience.
The event is open to the public; tickets cost $75, $35 of which is tax deductible. Ticket prices include a hardbound autographed copy of Cernan's book, "The Last Man on the Moon," and may be purchased by contacting Gaby Lopez at 520-621-6431. Advance reservations are required for the event.
Cernan holds the record of "more time spent on the moon" than any other astronaut. He explored the moon on foot and on the Lunar Roving Vehicle.
During 20 years as a naval aviator, including 13 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Cernan was involved with three historic missions in space as the pilot of Gemini IX, the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo X and the commander of Apollo XVII.
After flying to the moon twice, he also holds the distinction of being the second person from the U.S. to walk in space and the last person to have left his footprints on the lunar surface.
Cernan received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1956 and a master's in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School in 1963.
Among his numerous honors, the most significant are the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with Star, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the FAI International Gold Medal for Space. He also was inducted into the U.S. Space Hall of Fame and has received enshrinement into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, Naval Aviation's Hall of Honor and the International Aerospace Hall of Fame.
Cernan was awarded NASA's first Ambassador of Exploration Award, the Federal Aviation Administration's prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and the 2007 Lindbergh Spirit Award, presented every five years.