Arthur Russell This Is How We Walk On The Moon (1994)

In 1972, NASA completed Apollo 17, the eleventh and final mission of its Apollo program, with astronauts Harrison Schmitt, Ronald Evans and Gene Cernan on the job. During the operation that lasted from 7 to 19 December, Cernan and Schmitt descended to the moon while Evans took care of the space shuttle in orbit. During the excursion, the two astronauts examined a large boulder in the Taurus-Littrow valley that became known as “Tracey’s Rock.” Legend has it that Cernan wrote the initials of his daughter Tracey on the boulder—thus the name. The astronaut later claimed that he didn’t write Tracey’s initials on the rock but in the dust on the lunar surface. Fellow astronaut Alan Bean who became a painter after he retired from his career in space further complicated the story as he created a painting showing the rock in question with Tracey’s first name in Cernan’s handwriting on it. Fortunately, there is more clarity when it comes to the question of who the last person was to walk on the moon: As there haven’t been any crewed moon landings since Apollo 17, and since Cernan re-entered the spacecraft after Schmitt, the honor belongs to him. Ever since, no actual human foot has so much as grazed the moon’s surface, which, however, has not stopped anyone from doing so in their imagination. As for example American cellist, singer and producer Arthur Russell, who wrote the fragile leftfield disco-piece “This Is How We Walk On The Moon” in the 1980s. The track was released in 1994, two years after the musician’s death from AIDS-related illnesses, and it was meant as a metaphor for overcoming challenges down here on earth.