MISSION APOLLO 14

Mission objective

1. To perform surface operations like EVA - Extravehicular activities of lunar preselected location and its photography.
2. To perform mission photography - Both the surface and the orbital photography.
3. To perform scientific experiments on lunar surface elements.
4. collection of the lunar surface sample from the landing site at Fra Mauro.



Apollo 14, a manned spaceflight mission was the 8th mission of Apollo space mission program and also the third manned spaceflight mission to land on the moon's surface. The total duration of Apollo 14 was 9 days: 1 minute: 58 secs. This Apollo mission was the last mission of the Apollo's "H" mission type. Apollo 14 was launched from the Kennedy space center, located in Florida (U.S.A). Apollo 14 spacecraft was launched on 31st January 1971 at 21:03:02 UTC. But before the launch, Apollo 14 was delayed for about 40 minutes due to bad weather conditions.

The mission was crewed by three astronauts or crew members. The commander of mission -  Alan Shepard, The pilot of the command module - Stuart Roosa, The pilot of the lunar module - Edgar Mitchell.The landing of Apollo 14 was targetted on the previous mission landing of Apollo 13, that was "Fra Mauro" formation. Apollo 14 was launched using the Saturn V boosters during a heavy cloudy weather. Apollo 14 had learned many things from the previous issues of Apollo 13 mission. The engineers had modified the service module EPS system (Electrical power system) and the oxygen tank. They also added one more oxygen tank, the third tank.


After reaching the earth's orbit, the third stage rocket propelled them towards the lunar orbit. During the mission, the command/service module (CSM) or "Kitty Hawk" had a docking problem with the lunar module (LM) or "Antares". But after 1 hour and 30 minutes, the docking issue was resolved. A big problem arose during the lunar descent when the lunar module " Antares" was performing separation with command module in the lunar orbit. Abort signal was beeping and displaying continuously on the lunar's module computer screen, because of a fault occurred in a switch of the system. At the end crew members concluded that may be due to an incomplete circuit, the computer was showing an abort signal. Astronaut Mitchell performed some software code modification provided by the Nasa team on the ground. After implementing the code modification, it was resolved and safe for the go.

But this was not an end of the spacecraft issues. Another big problem arose during the powered descent. The landing radar malfunctioned and was unable to auto lock the landing site on the moon's surface. Due to this fault, the astronauts were now unknown of the altitude and the navigation data also. According to the Nasa team on earth, it was a signal problem. Astronaut Shepard manually handled the lunar module system and he manually landed the module closer to the landing site. Mitchell and Shepard were on the moon's surface while astronaut Roosa stayed in the lunar orbit, inside the CSM (Command/service module). He clicked some photographs of the moon's orbit and the landing site of prelocated Apollo 16 mission.

After stepping out on the moon's surface (on Fra Mauro formation), Shepard first words were, "And its been a long way, but we're here". Unlike the other previous Apollo manned mission, astronaut Shepard spacesuit was provided with red strips on the leg part and arms to identify the difference between lunar module pilot and the mission commander on the moon. The red strip was also fixed on the hood of the EVA's sunshade. During the Apollo 14 mission, Astronaut Roosa took hundreds of seeds to the moon. The seeds orbited in 0 gravity and it was germinated back on earth after the return to earth. The seeds were distributed to many places on earth and were named as "Moon Trees". Mitchell and Shepard performed some scientific experiments; They activated some of their equipment for relaying the data to earth; They also collected 45 kilograms of lunar soil to be taken back on earth. There was one more extra task to be performed by Shepard and Mitchell. Both the astronaut walked the longest distance on the moon's surface ever in the space mission history.

After performing all the experiments, both astronaut Mitchell and Shepard stepped inside the lunar module, shifted all the equipments and samples from the LM to the CSM. After few minutes, they lifted up from the lunar surface and rejoined astronaut Roosa in the CSM(Command/service module). The astronauts captured some images and videos before the jettisoned of lunar module's ascent stage. On 9th February 1971 at 21:05 UTC, The command module(Kitty Hawk) landed safely in the south pacific ocean and the astronauts were recovered by the US Aircraft carrier ship "Orleans".

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