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Eugene A. Cernan

Astronaut; President, The Cernan Corporation, Houston, TX


1981 – Present
President and Chief Executive Officer

1994 – June, 2000
Former Chairman

1986 – 1992
Executive Consultant, Aerospace and Government

1976 – 1981
Executive Vice President, International and Director

1956 – 1976
Captain and NASA Astronaut

AFoCR Director Captain Eugene A. Cernan is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Cernan Corporation, an aerospace technology and marketing consulting firm.  He is the former Chairman of Johnson Engineering Corporation, a NASA contractor, prior to its acquisition by SPACEHAB, Inc.

Captain Cernan has acted as a Special Technical Consultant in on-camera support in covering space and related documentary programming – most notable among which are ABC Television’s News and Special Events and ESPN’s documentary coverage of “EARTHWINDS HILTON.”  He has recently authored his autobiography,  THE LAST MAN ON THE MOON.

Captain Cernan joined Digital Equipment in 1986 and served as an Executive Consultant, Aerospace and Government for the Government Systems Group organization until 1992.  From 1976 to 1981, Captain Cernan served as the Executive Vice President, International and Director of Coral Petroleum, Inc.  He was charged with the corporate development of a world-wide supply and marketing strategy.  During this period, Captain Cernan furthered his education at the Wharton School of Finance and Northwestern University.

After serving twenty years as a Naval Aviator, Captain Cernan retired from the United States Navy in 1976.  The last thirteen of those years were dedicated to direct involvement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as an Astronaut.  During his years with NASA, Captain Cernan flew on three separate space missions.  He was the second American to walk in space as the pilot on Gemini IX; ventured to the moon on Apollo X, the Pathfinder for the first lunar landing; and as Commander of Apollo XVII, Captain Cernan holds the distinction of being the last man to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon.  Captain Cernan also actively participated in the design, engineering, and development testing of spacecraft hardware and systems.  He was a member of the NASA senior management team and reviewed decisions which directly affected operations and mission planning.  From 1973 through 1975, Captain Cernan served as a Senior United States Negotiator during discussions with the USSR concerning the joint United States and Soviet Apollo/Soyuz project.  He  presently represents Bombardier Aerospace, having participated in several record-setting flights of newly certified aircraft, and is an Ambassador of OMEGA Watch Group.

Captain Cernan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1956.  He earned a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1963 from the United States Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California.  Captain Cernan was also awarded Honorary Doctorates of Engineering from Purdue, Drexel and Gonzaga Universities, and an Honorary Doctorate degree from Western State College of Law and Comenius University of the Slovak Republic.  His honors include the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with Star, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the FAI International Gold Medal for Space, the VFW Gold Space Award, the Daughters of the American Revolution Medal for Space, the Sons of the American Revolution George Washington Award, induction into the U.S. Space Hall of Fame, the Challenger Center’s “Salute to the U.S. Space Program” Honor, Slovak American World Recognition Award, Czech Republic Presidential Medal of Honor and a Television Emmy.  Captain Cernan was an Olympic Torch Bearer in May, 1996; was honored by the Illinois State Society as Outstanding Illinoisian during the 54th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC., was recipient of the 2003 National Engineering Washington Award; and in May, 2005, Captain Cernan was awarded NASA’s first Ambassador of Exploration Award.  Captain Cernan has been enshrined into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, and most recently in May 2006 into Naval Aviation’s Hall of Honor.  In October 2006, he received the Federal Aviation Administration’s coveted  Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, and May 2007 he received The Lindbergh Spirit Award presented every five years.  In December, 2007, The National Aeronautic Association presented Captain Cernan with one of the most prestigious aviation trophies in the world, the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, in Washington, DC.  On April 25, 2008, Captain Cernan was honored by receiving the 2008 Rotary National Award for Space Achievement, and he also received the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) Gold Air Medal, one of the most important international awards, in the Fall of 2008.

Captain Cernan is an active member of several professional societies.  Representative among them are the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Association of Naval Aviation, Tail Hook Association, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Astronautical Society, and the Early and Pioneer Naval Aviators Association (“Golden Eagles”).  Captain Cernan is a member of the Board of Directors of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the President’s Engineering Council Purdue University; and is on of the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, NFL Alumni and Major League Baseball Players Alumni.