American politician, astronaut, and lunar explorer (born 1935) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Harrison Hagan Schmitt (born July 3, 1935) is an American geologist, retired NASA astronaut, university professor, former U.S. senator from New Mexico, and the most recent living person—and only person without a background in military aviation—to have walked on the Moon.
|United States Senator|
from New Mexico
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1983
|Preceded by||Joseph Montoya|
|Succeeded by||Jeff Bingaman|
|Secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department|
January, 2011 – February, 2011
Harrison Hagan Schmitt
July 3, 1935
Santa Rita, New Mexico, U.S.
|Awards||NASA Distinguished Service Medal|
Time in space
|12d 13h 52m|
|Selection||1965 Scientist group|
|3 on the lunar surface|
Total EVA time
|20 hours 35 minutes|
|Retirement||August 30, 1975|
|Thesis||Petrology and Structure of the Eiksundsdal Eclogite Complex, Hareidland, Sunnmøre, Norway (1964)|
In December 1972, as one of the crew on board Apollo 17, Schmitt became the first member of NASA's first scientist-astronaut group to fly in space. As Apollo 17 was the last of the Apollo missions, he also became the twelfth and second-youngest person to set foot on the Moon and the second-to-last person to step off of the Moon (he boarded the Lunar Module shortly before commander Eugene Cernan). Schmitt also remains the only professional scientist to have flown beyond low Earth orbit and to have visited the Moon. He was influential within the community of geologists supporting the Apollo program and, before starting his own preparations for an Apollo mission, had been one of the scientists training those Apollo astronauts chosen to visit the lunar surface.
Schmitt resigned from NASA in August 1975 to run for election to the United States Senate as a member from New Mexico. As the Republican candidate in the 1976 election, he defeated Democratic incumbent Joseph Montoya. In the 1982 election, Schmitt was defeated by Democrat Jeff Bingaman.