Velcroman1 writes: If NASA wants to get to Mars, the fastest way to get there is by returning to the moon — according to the last man to walk on the lunar surface. “The moon is going to be an extraordinary resource for future generations as they go deeper into space and as they begin to settle the moon and eventually Mars,” said Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, the Apollo 17 lunar module pilot. Apollo 17, the final mission to send men to the moon, launched on Dec. 7, 1972, carrying Schmitt, command module pilot Ronald Evans and Commander Gene Cernan. Schmitt was the 12th and final man on the moon; Cernan was 11th and last to depart the planet’s surface. Schmitt visited the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL Tuesday evening to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 17 moon landing, Dec. 11, 1972.