Schmitt received his bachelor’s degree from Caltech and studied as a Fulbright Scholar in Oslo, Norway. He earned his Ph.D. in geology from Harvard University in 1964. As a civilian, Schmitt received Air Force jet pilot wings in 1965 and Navy helicopter wings in 1967.
Selected for the scientist-astronaut program in 1965, Schmitt organized the lunar science training for the Apollo astronauts and served as Mission Scientist in support of the Apollo 11 mission. After training as back-up Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 15, Schmitt flew in space as Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 17, the last Apollo mission to the moon. On December 11, 1972, he landed in the Valley of Taurus-Littrow as the only scientist and the last of 12 men to step on the Moon.
Latest posts by Harrison Schmitt (see all)
- JFK and the Moon: Anatomy of a Historic Decision - November 22, 2013
- In Defense of Carbon Dioxide - July 7, 2013
- Apollo 17 Astronaut Harrison Schmitt on Neil Armstrong - August 30, 2012
Reactions to recent events by Harrison Schmitt — Heartland Institute Board member, former U.S. Senator (R-N.M.), and the last man (and first scientist) to set foot on the moon. (Cross-posted at America’s Uncommon Sense):
The bravery, skill and patriotism of the U.S. Navy SEALs in providing Osama bin Laden with his rendezvous with Justice stands in sharp contrast to the confusion and attempts at political opportunism by the President, his Administration, and many in Congress.
Once tens and maybe hundreds were aware that bin Laden had been located, the President clearly had no rational, moral or political choice but to approve the operation that took place in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
We can be thankful that the intelligence community and the Defense Department did not discard, as many feared, the information gained by the Bush Administration’s proper interrogation of captured terrorists.
More than strange has been the President’s characteristic indecisiveness in approving the SEALs’ mission, his desire to downplay the appropriateness of the SEALs’ actions, and his insistence that more respect be shown for a terrorist than for Americans who have died as a result of the radical Islamic faith of that same terrorist.
Let us not forget that the Obama Administration’s Attorney General continues to prosecute intelligence agents and military personnel who have honorably served their Commander in Chief and country in the war on terror.
Reports suggest strongly that the Republican debt limit-deficit negotiators are going wobbly on us. They appear to think that they can kick the entitlement can down the trail until after 2012. We cannot let that happen. That trail of liberty will end soon if nothing is done. The Administration’s apparent confusion over what happened to bin Laden, and the President’s media-enhanced victory lap over what he had no rational, moral or political choice but to do, must not be a distraction from the real and present danger to the future of Americans– the fiscal policies of the Obama Administration.
Observations during an unsuccessful effort last week to see the last launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor (STS 134) underscored the sad state of the United States’ space program and the demise of its geopolitical significance[See essay No. 20]. The dismantling and mothballing of the rocket launch infrastructure of the Kennedy Space Center has begun.
On the Obama Administration’s watch, the United States soon will be unable to compete for influence in any aspect of human spaceflight without depending on Russia’s good will to launch America’s and its partners’ astronauts to the International Space Station. Even worse, no rational plan exists for a return of Americans to deep space. We now must watch indefinitely as China moves toward space dominance, including eventual control of the energy resources of the Moon and, potentially, control of our defense, intelligence, and communications assets in near-Earth space.
China is currently preparing its first, experimental Tiangong space station for launch later this year. No political understanding manifests itself in either conservative or liberal circles of the long-term adverse impact of these facts on the survival of liberty on Earth.
If it were not obvious before, the lack of attention to what is best for America in the Obama Administration’s and the Senate Democrats’ FY2012 budget proposals has come into full view with the debate over raising the national debt ceiling. Clearly, their revolutionary aim is the destruction of the free enterprise system that has raised all economic boats in the past.
In its place, they would substitute an unabashed national socialist, government and public employee dominated, economic prison [See essay No. 16]. In this prison of walls built of taxes, entitlements, regulations and inflation, working Americans would be forced to support an elite, governing minority and a fully dependent political majority.
President Obama articulates radical goals that cannot be sustained by an economic system based on liberty, free enterprise, and government under the Constitution of the United States of America. His stated primary and integrated revolutionary objectives are as follows:
- Continued growth of health, retirement, and welfare entitlement programs that imprison the majority of Americans as economic wards of the federal government.
- Ever higher costs of food, fuel, and other necessities due to increasing monetization of an ever-increasing national debt, costly regulatory restrictions on domestic production, and subsidies of uneconomic, energy alternatives.
- Regulatory destruction of the means for producing plentiful supplies of low cost domestic energy, including dictatorial prevention of energy exploration on public lands and in public offshore waters.
- Continued political pre-emption of American business competition through crony capitalism and out-right government ownership or full regulatory control.
- Abuse of Presidential Executive Orders, most recently in the plan to exert political control over the process of bidding on federal contracts.
- Continued public employee union control of the education of young Americans and their continued indoctrination in support of national socialist goals.
- Ever-higher taxes on American enterprise, leading to more and more centralized planning and government control of production.
Let’s see. Where did this happen before and what were the consequences to liberty and humanity?