Lift-off of Apollo 17 Lunar Module ascent stage is captured by a television camera mounted on the lunar rover which the crew parked about 145 meters east of the spacecraft. The ascent stage ignites and climbs, spacecraft foil and dust fly in all directions.

Ed Fendell in Houston had to anticipate the timing of ignition, lift-off, and the rate of climb, to control the camera tilt to follow the ascent. "We're on our way Houston" is the voice of Apollo 17 Commander Eugene Cernan. The clip ends as LM "Challenger" reaches an altitude of 1,500 feet. After docking with the Command Module, the ascent stage was jettisoned and returned to the lunar surface. Its impact was recorded by four geophones deployed by Apollo 17 astronauts, and by each ALSEP at the Apollo 12, 14, 15 and 16 landing sites. Source: Credit: Kipp Teague, Lunar Surface Journal If you're interest in how this footage was obtained, this blog post explains - "Leaving the Moon, Watching at Home":

The Apollo 17 mission was the final mission of NASA's Apollo space program in December of 1972. As the last two astronauts— Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt—were preparing to leave the moon's surface, they were filmed by one of the lunar rovers, creating an iconic image.

The liftoff from the moon looked straight out of a sci-fi movie. It was a surreal moment as the spacecraft lifted off from the moon's surface, leaving a plume of dust in its wake. The shape of the spacecraft made it look like it was about to break apart, balancing on a single engine at the back. It was a moment of triumph for the astronauts and the entire mission, as the spacecraft left the moon with one of the most remarkable visuals ever captured.

This shot has remained one of the most stunning images of the early space exploration era. It symbolizes the human spirit of exploration, as well as the incredible skill of the Apollo program’s engineers. The entire mission was a remarkable achievement, and the fact that it concluded with the crew departing the moon in such a visually captivating way makes the moment even more special.

This iconic image is an important part of the history of space exploration, and a reminder of how far we have come since. Apollo 17 is an example of the human spirit's unstoppable ambition to break the boundaries of exploration, no matter how ridiculous they might look.