Eugene Shoemaker was a geologist and a founder of modern planetary science. He studied craters on Earth and Moon, and realized that they were created by asteroid impacts. Shoemaker was the geology principal investigator for Apollo missions, and he also helped to train the Apollo astronauts that went to the Moon. He himself was a candidate for an Apollo Moon flight but was disqualified after being diagnosed with Addison’s disease.
Later in life, he said, “Not going to the Moon and banging on it with my own hammer has been the biggest disappointment in life.” Shoemaker spent much of his later years searching for undiscovered impact craters around the world. He died on July 18, 1997, in a car accident in Australia, where he was studying craters. In 1999, as a recognition for his scientific accomplishments, some of his ashes were carried to the Moon by the Lunar Prospector space probe.
His final resting place is close to the lunar south pole, in the Shoemaker crater, named after him. The Shoemaker’s urn was inscribed with a quotation from Romeo and Juliet reading: “And, when he shall die Take him and cut him out in little stars And he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garish sun.” He is the only human buried on celestial body other than Earth.
After his death, he finally got to go where he always wanted to be.