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.
Flight director Gene Kranz wrote that Cernan was his favorite because of his carefree and jovial attitude, unabashed patriotism, and his close personal relationship with the flight controllers.
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.
Apollo 17 would break several crewed spaceflight records: 1) longest moon mission duration: 12 days 13 hours 52 minutes (just a day and a third shorter than the 14 days set in 1965 by Gemini 7), 2) longest total lunar surface extravehicular activities (22 hours 4 minutes), 3) largest lunar sample return (110.52 kilograms or 243.7 pounds), – longest time in lunar orbit (6 days 4 hours), and 4) most lunar orbits (75).