Launch of Apollo 17. The Saturn V rocket carrying Apollo 17 blasts into the night sky at Cape Canaveral on 7 December 1972. This was the only night launch of the Apollo Lunar programme. Apollo 17 carried astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt to the Moon, Ronald Evans remaining in the command module in lunar orbit. Cernan and Schmitt landed in the Taurus-Littrow region on 11 December and left on 13 December. Cernan was the last man to stand on the Moon's surface. Apollo 17 returned to Earth on 19 December 1972 - the end of manned Lunar exploration for the time being.