Schmitt, an experienced geologist, is the only scientist to have walked on the Moon. He and Eugene Cernan explored the surface with a lunar rover, collecting rock samples, taking photographs and setting up science experiments.
Schmitt was also involved in the scientific aspects of the other Apollo landings and instructed crew members in lunar geology and feature recognition.
Photo: Harrison Schmitt takes lunar samples (NASA/Eugene Cernan)
The only scientist to walk on the Moon flew on Apollo 17.
Astronauts remember what it was like to walk on the Moon.
Apollo astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Edgar Mitchell describe what it was like to walk on the Moon and their disappointment when the lunar programme was cancelled.
Apollo astronaut Harrison Schmitt shows James May around the Saturn V.
Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt shows James May around the Saturn V rocket and describes what it felt like to be sitting on top of a bomb.
Apollo 13's Jim Lovell and his fellow astronauts tell James Burke how it was done.
Jim Lovell and his fellow astronauts tell the BBC's James Burke what happened when nature called during the Apollo and Gemini missions.
The only scientist to walk on the Moon finds orange volcanic soil.
In 1972, Apollo 17's Harrison Schmitt, the only scientist to walk on the Moon, and his fellow astronaut Eugene Cernan discovered orange volcanic soil. At first, it was thought that this was evidence of recent lunar volcanism.
Harrison Hagan "Jack" Schmitt (born July 3, 1935) is an American geologist, retired NASA astronaut, university professor and former U.S. senator from New Mexico.
In December 1972, as one of the crew on board Apollo 17, Schmitt became the first member of NASA's first scientist-astronaut group to fly in space. As Apollo 17 was the last of the Apollo missions, he also became the twelfth person to set foot on the Moon, and as of 2015[update], the second-to-last person to step off of the Moon (he boarded the Lunar Module shortly before commander Eugene Cernan). Schmitt also remains the first and only professional scientist to have flown beyond low Earth orbit and to have visited the Moon. He was influential within the community of geologists supporting the Apollo program and, before starting his own preparations for an Apollo mission, had been one of the scientists training those Apollo astronauts chosen to visit the lunar surface.
Schmitt resigned from NASA in August 1975 in order to run for election to the United States Senate as a member from New Mexico. As the Republican candidate in the 1976 election, he defeated the two-term Democrat incumbent Joseph Montoya, but, running for re-election in 1982, was himself defeated, by Democrat Jeff Bingaman.