At the time of the Apollo 16 mission, Cernan turned down the opportunity to walk on the moon. He took a chance, wanting to command his own mission, rather than serve as Lunar Module Pilot. In December of 1972, the astronaut's gamble paid off, when Apollo 17 launched with Cernan as its Commander. This closed out the Apollo program's lunar exploration mission, and Cernan became the last man to set foot on the moon.
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