Photo Of The Day: The Last Man On The Moon

Last Manned Lunar Mission

Eugene Cernan riding the Lunar Rover during on the last manned mission to the Moon. Image Source: Wikipedia

Just after midnight on Dec. 7, 1972, Apollo 17 launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. On board were the last humans to land on the Moon.

NASA’s first night launch carried a three-man team of astronauts: Eugene Cernan, Harrison “Jack” Schmitt and Ronald Evans. Cernan and Schmitt explored the lunar surface for three days while Evans kept the command module “America” in lunar orbit. The crew was tasked with the mission of geologically surveying and sampling a previously unexamined area of the Moon – the Taurus-Littrow valley – for evidence of early lunar volcanic activity.

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Photo Of The Day: Celebrate The First Day Of Hanukkah With The Enormous National Menorah

Hanukkah Menorah Lighting

The National Menorah on the Ellipse park near the White House during its lighting ceremony. Image Source: The Telegraph

At sundown today, Hanukkah officially began.

Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean revolt against oppressive Greek rulers in the second century B.C. Interestingly, however, the story of Hanukkah does not appear in the Torah, because the events that inspired the holiday took place after the five books were written. Yet, the holiday is mentioned in the New Testament, in which Jesus was said to have attended a “Feast of Dedication.”

Every year since 1979, the U.S. has officially celebrated by lighting the National Menorah, not far from the White House gates. President Jimmy Carter was the first to light the menorah, ending a dark period of personal seclusion following the Iran hostage crisis. Today, the stunning, 30-foot-tall structure routinely attracts crowds from across the country.

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