…I’m on the surface; and, as I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come—but we believe not too long into the future—I’d like to just [say] what I believe history will record: That America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.
—Astronaut Gene Cernan—the last man on the Moon—prior to reentering the Lunar Module for the final time.
Note: According to Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham in his book The All-American Boys, Cernan’s final words on the moon were: “Let’s get this mutha out of here.”