At 12:33 A.M. Dec. 7th 1972, “the hold-down arms released and the mighty Saturn V stirred, balanced on a dazzling fireball that grew to the size of an atomic bomb. As a show-stopping spectacular, nothing in the entire space program compared to the night launch.” Gene Cernan
By the time they reached the elevator, Cernan felt absolutely charmed, and was grinning from ear to ear. His Saturn V sparkled like a 363-foot-high jewel rampant against the night sky, center stage and draped in spotlights.
Harrison Schmitt 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.