MISSION APOLLO 16

Mission objective

1. To analyze, survey, collect and to perform scientific experiments on sample materials at the landing site "Lunar Highlands".
2. To perform Extravehicular activities with Lunar roving vehicle (LRV).
3. To install and activate the surface experiments.
4. To perform photographic tasks and some experiments from inside the command/service module in the lunar orbit.




Apollo 16, a manned spaceflight mission was the 10th mission of the Apollo mission program and also the fifth manned spaceflight mission to land on the moon's surface. Apollo 16 was the second mission of the Apollo's "J" mission type. It was launched from the Kennedy space center in Florida (U.S.A). Apollo 16 was launched on 16th April 1972 at 12:54 PM EST with the help of Saturn V rockets. The mission was crewed by three astronauts or crew members. The commander of the mission - John Young, The pilot of the lunar module (Orion) - Charles Duke and the pilot of the command module (Casper) - Ken Mattingly.




The total duration of the Apollo 16 mission was 11 days: 1 hour: 51 minutes. This mission was delayed for almost one month due to some technical issues of the spacecraft. After few minutes of the launch, the spacecraft entered the earth's orbit. The third stage Saturn rocket booster propelled the astronauts towards the lunar orbit. After few minutes, the rocket booster jettisoned from the command/service module and then the spacecraft began to approach slowly towards the lunar orbit. After entering the lunar orbit, the astronauts began the descent of the lunar module towards the moon's surface. The two astronaut John Young and Charles Duke landed on the lunar surface at the planned/targetted spot.

Both the astronaut began to perform the three EVA's. The first one was lunar roving vehicle setup and performing some photographic task on the lunar surface. They collected samples of the surface material and before returning back to the lunar module, they installed the solar wind composition experiment at ALSEP site. Both astronauts completed all the surface EVA's with all the related tasks from point to point site. Also while setting up the heat flow experiment, a cable was mistakenly broken up after getting caught under Young's foot.


Astronaut Mattingly stayed inside the command/service module and performed inflight photographic tasks and some analysis of lunar orbit. At last moment they planted the US flag on the lunar surface and captured it inside the camera. Astronaut Charlie Duke left a framed photo of his family on the moon surface around the landing site. After entering the lunar module, they pressurized the cabin and performed the lift-off from the lunar surface. The lunar module lifted off successfully and safely re-docked with astronaut Mattingly in the command/service module. The astronauts shifted the collected samples and equipments into the CSM to be taken back to earth. After setting up everything they took a long sleep and on the next day they jettisoned the lunar module's ascent stage. The crew members also launched a satellite into the lunar orbit from the CSM's bay.

Like the previous mission, Astronaut Mattingly also performed a spacewalk and recouped some film cassettes from the CSM's SIM bay. The next day, the crew members are ready for the re-entry to the earth atmosphere. Almost ten minutes before the re-entry, they jettisoned the service module at a safe distance from the command module. With the help of the three parachutes, the command module safely splashed down in the Pacific ocean. The astronauts were recovered by the US aircraft carrier ship "Ticonderoga".


Also see:   MISSION APOLLO 17

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