This painting is something of a sequal to "Going Home - Apollo 17" in which I depict the liftoff of the Apollo 17 LM ascent stage from the moon, completing Man's first series of lunar explorations. I was always bugged by the appearance, on a quick glance, that the liftoff had not yet occured, so I've planned a sequal for some time. Here, the ascent stage is clearly off. The view is based on an image taken by Jack Schmitt at the end of EVA 3 after he completed closeout work at the ALSEP site and not long before he left the lunar surface for the last time. (Namely AS17-134-20510. See the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal by Eric M. Jones for more details on the Apollo missions and a collection of images including this one.)
Just before lunar liftoff, Gene Cernan, the commander of Apollo 17 thought he stated: "Let's get this mother out of here." but according to the transcripts in the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, on reviewing the official transcript and the audio transmissions, he was unable to find those words. Instead, a few seconds before launch from Taurus-Littrow he says "Okay. Now, let's get off." and later once liftoff has occured, Cernan then says "We're on our way, Houston!" which I borrowed for the title of this painting.
The painting was completed on August 18, 1998. It is a 16 by 20 inch acrylic on canvas board.
If the image here appears dark, I have a lightened version that might display better - try this.
See also my new Apollo web page.
Last update: August 20, 1998