MISSION APOLLO 17

Mission objective

1. To set up and activate lunar surface experiments.
2. To perform sampling of lunar surface material, a survey in the preplanned site of Taurus - Littrow region to relay a long-term information and data to earth.
3. To perform Inflight experiments and to perform photographic task including the lunar orbit photography.


Apollo 17, a manned spaceflight mission was the 11th of the Apollo space mission program and also the last mission of NASA Apollo program to land on moon's surface. Apollo 17 was the last mission of the Apollo's "J" mission type. With the help of Saturn V Rocket, the Apollo 17 spaceflight was launched from the Kennedy space center, Florida (U.S.A). The spaceflight was launched during the night time on 7th December 1972 at 12:33 AM (EST). The mission was crewed by the three astronauts or crew members. The commander of the mission - Eugene Cernan, The pilot of the command module (America) - Ronald Evans and the pilot of the lunar module (Challenger) - Harrison Schmitt. The total duration of the Apollo 17 mission was 12 days: 13 hours: 52 minutes. The third stage of the Saturn V Rocket has ignited to propel the spacecraft towards the moon's orbit.


On 10th December, the SPS Engine of CSM module was ignited to slow down the module. After few minutes lunar module was separated from the command/service module. Astronaut Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan started the preparation for the descent to Taurus - Littrow. The pilot of the command module, Ron Evans stayed in the lunar orbit. He stayed inside command module and performed some Inflight experiments and calculation on lunar's atmosphere, some photographic tasks were also performed by him. After the few hours of their touchdown on lunar's surface, they began their first moonwalk or EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity). They first brought out the LRV (Lunar Roving Vehicle) and some scientific instruments for conducting experiments on the lunar surface. Astronauts then installed the ASLEP (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package) on the west side of Taurus - Littrow. Both astronauts performed some experiments on lunar surface material and conducted sampling on every EVA location. They collected and carried a total of 110 kilograms of lunar surface material to be taken back to earth.


                            

The last moonwalk and EVA was executed on 13th December. After the completion of all the experiments and objectives, they performed some photographic tasks also. Both astronauts on the lunar surface planted the US flag and framed that moment too. Astronaut Cernan and Schmitt safely lifted off from the surface of the moon and docked with the command service module in the lunar orbit. They shifted and arranged the equipments and samples from LM to CSM. 

On the next day the ascent stage of LM was jettisoned and after a few hours later it got collided and destroyed on the lunar's surface. Before the re-entry to Earth's atmosphere on 17th December, Astronaut Ron Evans performed a Spacewalk to recoup the uncovered film on outside the CSM. On 19th December, the service module was safely jettisoned away from the command module. The command module safely landed in the Pacific ocean and later recovered by US aircraft carrier ship "Ticonderoga".


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