News detail

24 October 2001

Last Man on the Moon Pays First Visit to Lisbon


OMEGA ambassador Gene Cernan, the last man on the moon, was in Portugal for the first time. <br/> <br/>

Gene Cernan was invited by OMEGA to attend several social and cultural events. The highlight of the visit was a lecture given by Gene Cernan at the Pavilho do Conhecimento (the Knowledge Pavilion) to an audience of more than 150 people, including the Swiss Ambassador and the Head of the Portuguese Navy along with representatives from the Air Force, the USA Embassy and several professors and students from Portuguese Universities.

Prior to the lecture, the PULSAR project was presented to Gene Cernan by the Portuguese Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Mariano Gago. The PULSAR project is currently being developed by a group of young students and aims to place Portuguese products on board future space missions.

A few of the young students were even given the chance to pose questions to the astronaut in a very informal and enthusiastic meeting. "Always shoot for the moon" was the key message conveyed by Gene Cernan, bringing some extra incentive and thrill to these kids' lives ("because even if you miss you'll land among the stars", Gene concluded).

Gene Cernan had earlier visited City Hall, where he was received by the Mayor of Lisbon, Joao Soares. Mr. Soares took the opportunity to give Gene Cernan a serious warning: "watch out for Lisbon, you will end up falling in love with this city"! "I'm already in love with some of the beautiful ladies I have met", the astronaut replied...

The astronaut also visited the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, Lisbon's famous architectural monument to Portuguese discoveries of the 15th century, the Casa Pia Watchmaker School and, last but not least, the opening of the Boutique dos Relogios watch store, where he cut the ribbon after a brief journey around the mall on the lunar rover. A special exhibition of OMEGA watches at the store included the legendary Speedmaster watch, which is standard equipment for all astronauts and cosmonauts and is the only watch ever to have been worn on the moon - the last time being on December 19, 1972 by Gene Cernan himself.