Last Man to Walk On Moon Dies at 82

Illinois  --  It has been over 40 years since a NASA astronaut was on the moon, and the man who took those final steps has now passed away.

On Monday, Illinois native and astronaut Eugene Cernan died at age 82.

Cernan said he always wanted to fly, and he certainly accomplished that--and more.

After spending five years as a naval aviator, he was recruited by NASA in 1963. Cernan is one of only three humans to have traveled to the moon on two separate occasions. The last time was in 1972, when he spent three days setting up experiments.

Although this was his final trip, Cernan always imagined what he would do if he could return to the moon.

"If I could go back to the moon, particularly to a spot that I had been to, the Valley of Tauras Littrow, to where I scribbled my daughter's initials in the sands, to where I left the rover, to where we lived, to a place we called home, I would do that in a minute," he said.

After leaving NASA in 1976, Cernan remained in space-related business.