Harrison Schmitt

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.

Quick facts: Harrison Schmitt, United States Senator from ...
Harrison Schmitt
Schmitt in 1971
United States Senator
from New Mexico
In office
January 3, 1977  January 3, 1983
Preceded byJoseph Montoya
Succeeded byJeff Bingaman
Secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department
In office
January, 2011 – February, 2011
Personal details
Harrison Hagan Schmitt

(1935-07-03) July 3, 1935 (age 87)
Santa Rita, New Mexico, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseTeresa Fitzgibbon
AwardsNASA Distinguished Service Medal
Space career
NASA astronaut
Time in space
12d 13h 52m
Selection1965 Scientist group
Total EVAs
3 on the lunar surface[1]
Total EVA time
20 hours 35 minutes[2]
MissionsApollo 17
Mission insignia
Apollo 17 insignia
RetirementAugust 30, 1975
Scientific career
ThesisPetrology 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.[3] 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.