DAYTON, Ohio — The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) will give its 2016 Neil Armstrong Outstanding Achievement Award Oct. 1 to retired Navy Captain and NASA astronaut Eugene “Gene” Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon.
Cernan, who commanded the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972, is one of only 12 humans to have stepped foot on the moon and the last man to do so.
Cernan was a U.S. Navy attack fighter pilot when he was selected to apply for the astronaut corps, ultimately serving as a pilot or commander on three record-breaking space missions: Gemini 9A, Apollo 9 and Apollo 17.
A 2000 enshrinee of the NAHF, Cernan has devoted much of his post-NASA career advocating for personal empowerment and development, especially among youth, as well as for the revival of U.S. manned space exploration.
The NAHF Neil Armstrong Outstanding Achievement Award was established in 2015, named after the first man to walk on the moon and a 1979 enshrinee of the Hall of Fame. The award was established to recognize an exceptional one-time aviation performance of national or international significance, or an enduring series of events that demonstrates life-long dedication to leadership in promoting aviation and values of citizenship, dignity, integrity, and service.
Cernan will accept the award during the NAHF 54th Annual Enshrinement Dinner & Ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 1. Widely known as the “Oscar Night of Aviation,” the black-tie event takes place at the NAHF Learning Center and adjacent National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.
The ceremony features the induction of the Enshrinee Class of 2016: Former test-pilot and astronaut Robert L. Crippen, USN (Ret); the late fighter pilot and Medal of Honor recipient, Col. George “Bud” Day, USAF (Ret); NASA’s first Flight Director, Christopher “Chris” Kraft; and former EAA President, Chairman and CEO Tom Poberezny.