Complete with lunar rover and American flag, astronaut Jim Irwin poses for a publicity photo on his 240,000 mile Apollo 15 trip to the moon in July 1971. This was the fourth of six lunar landings in the Apollo program, and was the first to target a mountainous region on the rim of the great Imbrium basin. It was also the first to use a battery powered lunar rover to visit geologically interesting sites. In total, the astronauts ventured as far as 3 miles from the Lunar Module, and drove a total distance of 17 miles.
At the end of the mission, in a demonstration for the public back on Earth, David Scott recalled Galileo's important experiments showing that all objects fall at the same rate - he dropped a hammer and a feather and, on the airless moon, they both hit the ground at the same time. This simple result, which ran counter the Aristotelian view, played an important role in Newton's subsequent development of his theory of gravity, and ultimately became a crucial ingredient in Einstein's more refined theory of gravity, called General Relativity.
The Apollo program ended in 1972 with Harrison Schmitt the last human to stand on the surface of the moon. The political forces that gave rise to the Apollo program in the 1960s changed, and since then there has never been the same will, or funds, to return. Perhaps in time this will change, but either way, the Apollo program's moon landings in the late 1960s and early 1970s will be remembered a thousand years from now as the first time humans walked on another world.