Captain America chillin’ out in his home away from home. Photo from Project Apollo’s Archive on Flickr (Apollo 17 Magazine 160/YY; 35mm Color, onboard; NASA photographs; unprocessed 35mm film scans by NASA Johnson Space Center, circa 2005) 

As the 44th anniversary of the final Apollo lunar exploration mission winds down, we remember perhaps the most underrated facet of that iconic mission: America’s command module pilot, Ronald E. Evans (aka “Captain America”). Born Nov. 10, 1933, the then 39-year-old Evans held down the fort for three days while his compatriots Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt completed the program’s final scientific “J” mission moonwalks. Evans also undertook the program’s last deep space EVA during the flight’s trans-Earth coast period. Evans, who passed away too soon in 1990, still holds the record as the last human to complete a deep space EVA.

While I’m not sure how many, if any, of these photos are true “selfies,” Evans’ spirit of fun certainly comes across in these lovely photos from Dec. 1972. A Navy combat pilot, he exemplifies the very meaning of the term “star sailor” here. While Buzz Aldrin is credited with inventing the “space selfie,” Evans seems to have perfected the medium. Case in point:

All photos are from the Project Apollo Archive on Flickr, from Apollo 17 Magazines 160/YY, 162/SS, and 163/TT. To access these albums, please click here

Thanks to Brian Fiore of Space Hipsters for inspiring this post. Feel free to share memories of Ron Evans in the comments.

Emily Carney is a writer, space enthusiast, and creator of the This Space Available space blog, published since 2010. In January 2019, Emily’s This Space Available blog was incorporated into the National Space Society’s blog. The content of Emily’s blog can be accessed via the This Space Available blog category.

Note: The views expressed in This Space Available are those of the author and should not be considered as representing the positions or views of the National Space Society.

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