30 years later, Eugene Cernan still can't believe he is the last person to leave footprints on the moon. The Apollo 17 astronaut says he returned to Earth in 1972 believing that people would soon be back to the moon with an eye toward Mars. Cernan and other space explorers held a reunion in Beverly Hills, California, last night to mark the 30th anniversary of the final Apollo mission.
Others included Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin of Apollo 11, T.R. Mattingly of Apollo 16 and James Lovell of Apollo 13. The moon landing on that mission in 1970 was aborted because an oxygen tank ruptured en route.
Lovell says the near-disaster may have led to the cancellation of at least two lunar missions. He calls that decision a grave mistake, noting that there are many unexplored areas on the moon. Cernan hopes NASA will again send people to explore it.Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.