Legendary astronaut Eugene Cernan died Jan. 16, going to take his place “on God’s front porch,” as he so eloquently described his visit to the moon, and wait for someone else to take his place as “the last man on the moon.” Here are a few of the many tributes made to him:
President George H.W. Bush – “By his courage, Gene Cernan secured a place in American history that, like the footprints he left on the moon, will never fade. He was a true hero who inspired us and made his fellow Americans proud. But more than that, Gene was a true friend, and Barbara and I join in extending our sincere condolences to Jan and Gene’s beautiful family.”
Congressman Pete Olson – “America is only as great as the people who embody the ideals we aspire to. Gene Cernan embodied honor, bravery and the pioneering spirit that have contributed to the very best of American exceptionalism. I was privileged and humbled to know him and call him a friend. Our nation has lost a true American hero. Godspeed Gene Cernan.”
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden – “America has lost a patriot and pioneer who helped shape our country’s bold ambitions to do things that humankind had never before achieved. Gene’s footprints remain on the moon, and his achievements are imprinted in our hearts and memories. As he said, ‘The sky is no longer the limit. The word impossible no longer belongs in our vocabulary. We have proved that we can do whatever we have the resolve to do..’”
Space Center Houston President and CEO William T. Harris — “Gene Cernan not only left his footprints on the moon, but in our hearts. He will forever be remembered as an inspiration to us all and a strong advocate for Space Center Houston’s educational mission. He helped launch the pathway for future explorers to discover unlimited opportunities.”
RNASA President Rodolfo Gonzalez — “He was an incredible advocate for space exploration and his enthusiasm and energy was truly inspiring. RNASA was honored to recognize him as the 2008 National Space Trophy winner. He will be incredibly missed, and we are grateful for his legacy.