Harrison Schmitt

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Harrison Hagan "Jack" Schmitt (born July 3, 1935) is an American geologist, a former NASA astronaut, University Professor and a U.S. Senator for one term.

He is the twelfth and last of the Apollo astronauts to arrive and set foot on the Moon, as crewmate Eugene Cernan exited the Apollo Lunar Module first. However, as Schmitt re-entered the module first, Cernan became the last astronaut to walk on and depart the moon. Schmitt is also the only geologist as well as the only person to have walked on the Moon who was never a member of the United States Armed Forces, although he is not the first civilian, since Neil Armstrong left military service prior to his landing in 1969.[1]


Early life and education

Born in Santa Rita, New Mexico, Schmitt grew up in nearby Silver City.[2] He received a B.S. degree in science from the California Institute of Technology in 1957 and then spent a year for graduate studying geology at the University of Oslo in Norway.[2][3] He received a Ph.D. in geology from Harvard University in 1964, based on his geological field studies in Norway.[2]

NASA career

Before joining NASA as a member of the first group of scientist-astronauts in June 1965, he worked at the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Center at Flagstaff, Arizona, developing geological field techniques that would be used by the Apollo crews. Following his selection, Schmitt spent his first year at Air Force UPT learning to become a jet pilot. Upon his return to the astronaut corps in Houston, he played a key role in training Apollo crews to be geologic observers when they were in lunar orbit and competent geologic field workers when they were on the lunar surface. After each of the landing missions, he participated in the examination and evaluation of the returned lunar samples and helped the crews with the scientific aspects of their mission reports.

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