By New Mexico Business Weekly

Gov. Susana Martinez on Thursday nominated Harrison ⿿Jack⿝ Schmitt, a former astronaut and Republican U.S. senator, to serve as secretary of the New Mexico Energy Minerals and Natural Resources Department.

Schmitt served as a mission scientist in support of NASAâ¿¿s Apollo 11 mission and flew in space as part of the Apollo 17 mission. He landed on the moon on Dec. 11, 1972 and was one of the last two Americans to walk on the moon.

After leaving NASA, Schmitt was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976, where he served for six years.

Martinez said Schmittâ¿¿s experience as a public servant, scientist and businessmen provide the qualities needed as secretary.

⿿Sen. Schmitt⿿s diverse background gives him a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be helpful in guiding the responsible development and protection of New Mexico⿿s diverse natural resources,⿝ Martinez said in a prepared statement. ⿿Harnessing and developing energy sources right here in New Mexico is critical to reviving our economy and creating jobs.⿝

Schmitt, a geologist and former college professor, earned a bachelorâ¿¿s degree from California Institute of Technology and a doctorate from Harvard University. He is a native of Santa Rita, N.M., and grew up in Silver City.

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