Apollo 17 (December 7 – 19, 1972) was the final Moon landing mission of NASA's (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Apollo program, the most recent time humans have set foot on the Moon.

Ronald Ellwin Evans Jr., USN (November 10, 1933 – April 7, 1990) was an American naval officer and aviator, electrical engineer, aeronautical engineer, and NASA astronaut. As command module pilot on Apollo 17 he was one of the 24 astronauts to have flown to the Moon, and one of 12 people to have flown to the Moon without landing on it.

Evans was selected as an astronaut by NASA as part of Astronaut Group 5 in 1966 and made his only flight into space as Command Module Pilot aboard Apollo 17 in December 1972, the last crewed mission to the Moon, with Commander Eugene Cernan and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt.

During the flight, Evans and five mice orbited the Moon a record 75 times as his two crewmates descended to the surface. He is the last person to orbit the Moon alone and, at 148 hours, holds the record for the most time spent in lunar orbit. In 1975 Evans served as backup Command Module Pilot for the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project mission.

Launched at 12:33 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on December 7, 1972, Apollo 17 was a "J-type" mission that included three days on the lunar surface, extended scientific capability, and the use of the third Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV).

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