Buzz Aldrin Statement about Gene Cernan

  • Jan 16, 2017
  • By: Buzz Aldrin

Today we lost yet another hero. Gene Cernan and I met for the first time when we were selected for the third group of astronauts in November of 1963. We started our training together in January of 1964 and eventually worked together as the backup crew of Gemini 9. He was a Navy guy and I was Air Force so there was always a friendly dose of ribbing and trying to one up each other that continued to this day.   We had the very interesting task of training together on the maneuvering unit  – a jet pack like George Clooney used in the movie “Gravity”, which was a fascinating project and was quite complicated. Unfortunately, NASA felt it was too risky so we weren’t able to use it during our Gemini missions.


I left NASA before Gene’s mission to the Moon on Apollo 17 but of course followed it closely with the rest of the world. He served the nation extremely well on his mission with Ron Evans and the first scientist astronaut, Jack Schmitt. It was the final mission to the Moon but our hopes had been that we would press forward and eventually be on Mars as the next destination. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened and Gene is the last person to step foot on another celestial body. He was the last man on the moon and he wasn’t happy about that and continually stressed that he didn’t want to be the last.


Gene was probably the strongest spokesman for astronauts for lunar travel and advocating a return to the moon. He made multiple trips to Washington to give testimony along with Neil Armstrong and Jim Lovell to promote NASA and not losing our pioneering spirit. He wasn’t really a Mars guy like me, but he cared deeply about continuing manned space exploration.


Us astronauts will always remember his cheerful and smiling approach to everything. With the passing of the First Man – Neil Armstrong, and the passing of the Last Man – Gene Cernan, it is up to us Middle Men to carry on spirit of Apollo into the future for our Nation and the world.



Leave a Reply

94 Responses to “Buzz Aldrin Statement about Gene Cernan”

  1. TIMOTHY DRAKE says:

    I wish we would go back to the moon someday

  2. Brandon H. Crook says:

    Dr. Aldrin,
    Thank you Sir for your most fitting words that reflect the love and respect the world has for Gene Cernan. As with the passing of Neil Armstrong, Gene’s passing made me terribly sad. As someone who was born in 1980, the Gemini and Apollo programs have always seemed larger then life for me. All of you men are heros to me and a source of inspiration and thinking on your accomplishments always makes me so proud to be an American. Thank you for your words again Sir, and thank you for what you have given and continue to give our country. God bless you Dr. Aldrin.
    Brandon H. Crook
    Fort Myers, Florida

  3. Dr. John DellaCroce says:

    Thank you for Share Space and your devotion to science and

  4. James Beckford says:

    Dear Buzz
    The song Rocketman proclaims the truth about Apollo astronauts. I think it’s going to be a long, long time before we have heroes like that ever again!

  5. Daryl Inman says:

    Dear Buzz, Thank you for this tribute of Astronaut Gene Cernan! I have been a fan since a boy. I recently saw your New York fashion show appearance. I liked your COOL outfit. I have been following the information about the Mars mission efforts. The main thing I want to say is that your work in getting us to Mars is so important and I hope that the problems of radiation exposure and the weightless effects on the body can be solved for the Mars trips and colonization. We will colonize space as his children will be there- Jesus says something about it in the Bible- Matthew 24:31 KJV God Bless you and yours, Air Force Vietnam era veteran and chaplain/minister

  6. John W. Poinsett says:

    God speed Mr. Cernan and a special thanks to you, and your fellow astronauts that flew on the pioneering Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions of the sixties and early seventies. I know that I speak for those of us who were children then when I say that because of you, and heros like Buzz Aldrin, we were given the unique opportunity to watch with national pride as you sailed your space ships to the stars.

  7. Matthew Capitano says:

    Nice comment Colonel Aldrin. Gene is my favorite ‘Navy Astronaut’. His contribution to the American space program will not be forgotten.

  8. Ramona Bruce says:

    You are a beautiful man, Buzz Aldrin!
    Hope to meet you someday soon!
    That was an inspiring message for your friend.
    What an exciting life you’ve led.
    God bless you and your family! ⛤⛤⛤⛤⛤

  9. Michelle says:

    I am doing a report on you in my Mennonite school.
    And I pray God will Help, bless, and inspire you through your future. God Bless!!!

  10. Deborah Adcock Thomas says:

    May God Bless You, Buzz!

  11. Robert Southall says:

    Very sad news. I met Gene Cernan when he was in the UK and it was a privilege to spend just a short time in his presence.

  12. Paul and Ben says:

    Another true hero passes, I wonder if those of the gang who have passed on have formed their own elite club back on the moon. Roaming and golfing to their hearts content, Rest in peace Gene, one of only a very few true heroes. Even when we eventually reach Mars, walking on the Moon will always be mans greatest achievement.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Happy birthday Buzz you are amazing xxx

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sorry you lost your friend Buzz and Michael Collins so sad xx

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sorry you lost your friend , and so sad about Michael Collins, happy birthday Buzz you look amazing, you are an amazing guy xxx

  16. Going to the Moon was a very hazardous thing to do. These men are heroes even though they did not have the destructive objectives of the military. They should be remembered and honored as such. They are true heroes of the Progress of Civilization.

  17. Alex says:

    “The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there’s no good reason to go into space–each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.” – xkcd

    With each passing of an Apollo astronaut, I cringe thinking about this quote.

  18. Ben Heideveld says:

    Dear Buzz,

    Wasn’t it Gene who took the most published photo ever: “Full Earth” outbound on December 7th 1972?
    I used that beautiful picture for the birth Card of my vorstbloem Hannah Rose!

  19. Ben Heideveld says:

    Dear Buzz, Wasn’t it Gene who took the most published photo of all time, the “Full Earth” on December 7th 1972?
    I printed that picture on the birth Card of my first born, Hannah Rose.

  20. Peter Short says:

    The First shall be Last

  21. Karen Mermel says:

    The National Space Society supports you and all the “middle men” for a return to space to stay. You guys have always been my heros.

  22. John Widener says:

    My heart sank suddenly when I heard the news of Gene Cernan’s passing. The untimely loss of another true American hero, pioneer, and advocate for manned space flight. Thank you Buzz for all your contributions as well including your words here.

  23. Thanks for such a wonderful remembrance. Remember Apollo 17 and our hopes for continued space exploration. Apollo program is the starting point for humanity traveling thru the Solar system

  24. Ian Walsh says:

    All you guys are my hero’s. I followed all the flights in my childhood and your photos graced my bedroom walls.

    RIP Gene.

    Ian Walsh
    Torbay, England

  25. J.McDonald says:

    Another who definitely had “The Right Stuff”
    RIP Gene

  26. Al Paslow says:

    Another great American Hero gone… Gene Cernan last human to walk on the moon has died. I was privileged to have attended the service for Neil Armstrong at the National Cathedral in Washington DC and was there to hear Mr. Cernan deliver the eulogy. Rest in peace sir you shall not be forgotten. Thanks Buzz for your wonderful words…

  27. Ruben H says:

    Condolences to Capt. Cernan’s family and friends.

  28. Chris Evans says:

    Thanks for those thoughts Buzz and I’m sorry for you and the rest of us at this great man’s passing…..

  29. Craig says:

    The Apollo program was undoubtedly the greatest adventure in history, and the astronauts who rode the sharp end of the hardware are forever immortalized. Their footprints will remain on the moon for millenia, as stepping stones to the vast universe beyond our shores.

  30. John Henry says:

    I was 7 during their mission and remember watching them walk on the surface of the moon and drive around in the rover. I have had the fortune to see the lunar artifacts at Air and Space. Why do our young people today not pursue careers in STEM? What has happened to our nation that Chinese, North Koreans and others are catching up to our technology? Is this a threat to us? I think any student studying engineering should get free tuition. America needs STEM. Does anyone know how I could meet one of the surviving moonwalkers? I would be happy to donate to their favorite cause.

  31. Linda says:

    Thanks for posting about Gene Cernan. Hope you are better after returning from the South Pole!

  32. Stephen Hollis says:

    Thank you Mr. Aldrin. Growing up in the 60’s I watched all you guys with great awe and admiration. My condolences to you.

  33. Carlos A. Muñoz says:

    Mi sentido pesame a los compañeros de la NASA y los familiares del astronauta Gene Cernan, quien fue el ultimo en caminar en la Luna, del siglo XX, como el lo dijo. Ya descanza en paz

  34. […] “With the passing of the First Man — Neil Armstrong, and the passing of the Last Man — Gene Cernan, it is up to us ‘Middle Men’ to carry on spirit of Apollo into the future for our nation and the world,” Aldrin wrote on his website. […]

  35. […] “With the passing of the First Man — Neil Armstrong, and the passing of the Last Man — Gene Cernan, it is up to us ‘Middle Men’ to carry on spirit of Apollo into the future for our nation and the world,” Aldrin wrote on his website. […]

  36. […] “With the passing of the First Man — Neil Armstrong, and the passing of the Last Man — Gene Cernan, it is up to us ‘Middle Men’ to carry on spirit of Apollo into the future for our nation and the world,” Aldrin wrote on his website. […]

  37. It is time to encourage new leadership to bring ppl back to the moon; and on to Mars…

  38. Sean M says:

    Planet Earth has just lost another hero.

  39. […] a tribute to his old friend, Aldrin wrote that “Gene was probably the strongest spokesman for lunar travel and advocating a return to the […]

  40. Ray Greenall says:

    Apollo fuelled my interests in astronomy that has become a life long hobby of mine. RIP Gene.

  41. Iain Gow says:

    I’ll never forget looking at the moon on the way home in the school bus in the December of Apollo 17 thinking “There’s two men up there and one flying round. You made the stuff of dreams reality.

  42. Doug Durand says:

    Well Said Buzz. Well Said.
    Godspeed Gene.

  43. Geoffrey B Farthing says:

    May your words continue to ring loud and true like the bell of freedom!
    You rock, Buzz Aldrin!
    R.I.P. gene Cernan

  44. Gaylon Reasons says:

    A great send-off for Gene Cernan, Mr. Aldrin – well spoken! You, sir, are the only astronaut that I have had the pleasure of meeting, personally, and you are truly a great representative of our heroes in space. God Bless!