End of The Apollo Era: On December 19, 1972, America’s manned Moon program ended, with the splashdown of the Apollo 17 Crew. The Apollo program began in tragedy, with the loss of its first crew during a routine training exercise. Rising from the ashes of Apollo 1, the program would see 11 consecutive missions safely blast off and return to Earth. A total of 12 men would walk on the Moon’s surface between 1969 and 1972. Succeeding generations have yet to build on the achievements of this program. Yet, Apollo continues to be a reminder of a time when people dreamed big, and dared to achieve those dreams.