Apollo 12 was the second lunar landing mission and the first mission to make a pinpoint landing on the moon.
Apollo 12 was launched on 14 November, 1969. The crew of Pete Conrad, Richard Francis Gordon, Jr. and Alan LaVern Bean flew the spacecraft Yankee Clipper (CSM) and Intrepid (LM). Conrad and Bean landed the Lunar Module on the south-eastern Oceanus Procellarum region of the Moon within 200 m (660 ft) of their target. The crew spent 31 hours 31 minutes on the lunar surface conducting two excursions for a total of 7 hours 45 minutes. They traversed 2.0 km (1.2 mi) on foot and ranged up to 470 m (1500 ft) from their base, the Intrepid craft.
The Apollo 12 Crew
The Apollo 12 crew were:
– Charles “Pete” Conrad (Commander),
– Alan LaVern Bean (Lunar Module Pilot)
– Richard F. Gordon, Jr (Command Module Pilot).
Commander Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr.
Command Module Pilot .
Second and last spaceflight
Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean
The back up crew were:
– David R. Scott (Backup Commander),
– James B. Irwin (Backup Lunar Module Pilot) and
– Alfred M. Worden (Backup Command Module Pilot).
Apollo 12 Mission
The second manned moon landing started with a jolt. Shortly after lift-off the Saturn V rocket was struck by lightning, causing a brief moment of panic at mission control and on board. Fortunately, the rest of the flight took place without any trouble and US astronauts Charles Conrad (1930) and Alan Bean (b. 1932) touched down in the Ocean of Storms on 24 November 1969, while Richard Gordon (b. m1929) remained in lunar orbit awaiting their return
Apollo 12’s main mission goal was to find the robotic craft Surveyor 3 which had landed two and a half years earlier and to bring its camera and other samples back to Earth for analysis. Apollo 12 achieved this perfectly, landing within sight of Surveyor 3.
The first excursion included an inspection of the Surveyor 3 lunar probe, which had landed on the lunar surface years earlier. Several components were extracted from the probe for engineering analysis. During their stay, Conrad and Bean set into place an ALSEP scientific station, conducted geological observations, and collected 34 kg (75 lb) of lunar rocks and soil.
After Lunar Module ascent, rendezvous and docking with the Command Service Module (CSM), the CSM departed lunar orbit just under four days after arrival.
Splashdown on Earth
The 10 day mission landed without incident in the Pacific Ocean on November 24, 1969. The capsule was recovered by USS Hornet.
Did you know?
* The Apollo 12 Command Module Yankee Clipper is on display at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, Virginia, USA.
Books and Merchandise:
Lunar Exploration: Human Pioneers and Robotic Surveyors by Paolo Ulivi, David M Harland
Apollo: The Lost and Forgotten Missions by David J. Shayler.
Apollo DVD – selection of dvds
The Dish: Movie from Australia
Apollo 12 Links
- Apollo 12 Mission – Lunar and Planetary Institute – USRA
- Apollo 12 Lunar Surface Journal: NASA Headquarters Home Page
- Apollo 12: by Encyclopedia Astronautica
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