WASHINGTON – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the following statement today on the passing of former astronaut Gene Cernan.

Chairman Smith: “Gene Cernan personified the American spirit, becoming the second American to walk in space and one of only two men to have made two trips to the Moon. Cernan, who is a constituent, served as a Navy pilot before joining NASA, and later commanded the Apollo 17 mission, from which he earned his title as ‘The Last Man on the Moon.’

“I first met Cernan when he testified before the Committee in 2011, where he told young Americans to ‘never stop shooting for the Moon.’

“While Cernan has passed, his legacy will live on and will inspire young American dreamers to make his prediction a reality. My  thoughts and prayers are with the Cernan family as our nation mourns the loss of a true pioneer and hero.”