HOUSTON (AP) -- Forty years ago today, the last man on the moon gazed back at the Earth from what he calls "God's front porch."
Eugene Cernan recalled the Apollo 17 mission in an interview with Cathedral Age, the magazine of Washington National Cathedral. The sixth and final moon landing gave Cernan and fellow astronaut Harrison Schmitt three days on the lunar surface, from Dec.11-14, 1972.
Cernan said on the moon he realized, "There had to be a Creator of this universe."
Viewing the Earth from a distance few have ever experienced convinced him, "It's just too beautiful to have happened by accident."
Cernan, who spoke at the memorial service for fellow Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong, said he's glad that a moon rock from Armstrong's first moon landing is encased in stained glass at Washington National Cathedral. For him it's "a symbol of creation itself" -- a holy relic comparable to a piece of the cross of Christ.