The date of July 20, 1969 entered history as a day when man first landed on the moon. So far, he is the only cosmic body outside the Earth on which a human foot has entered. Although preparations are currently underway for the expedition to Mars, the sad fact is that the last person walked on a surface other than the Earth's surface nearly 47 years ago.
A total of seven crews were sent to the Moon and only twelve cosmonauts walked along its surface. However, further plans to visit our space companion have wiped out cuts in NASA's budgets that came in the 1970s. Let's imagine a dozen of those who have the chance to look at our planet from the moon.
The unambiguous primacy belongs to the crew consisting of the commander Neil A. Armstrong, pilot of the command module Michael Collins and the Lunar Module Pilot Edwin "Buzz" E. Aldrin. Apollo 11 brought the Saturn V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969.
Apollo 11 Crew (from left: Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin)
The spacecraft had three parts: a command module with a cabin for three astronauts and a section that returned to Earth; a service module that supported the main module by power, power, oxygen, and water; and a lunar module designed to land on the moon and return astronauts to orbit.
After three days of flight, Apollo 11 entered the Moon's orbit. Armstrong and Aldrin then moved to the Eagle module, with which they landed successfully in Sea of Peace. The preparation for the climb lasted longer than originally planned – three and a half hours instead of two. While on Earth, all the necessities were clearly arranged, there were a number of other things in the module's cabin – such as food packages and tools.
The output was transmitted by television, so viewers could watch live on the first two people on the moon. Six and a half hours after landing, Neil A. Armstrong made the first move and said a memorable sentence: "It's a small step for a man, a huge leap for mankind."
Then Armstrong took samples on the surface that he hid in his suit suit pocket. The astronauts then devoted themselves to photography and tried to move on the lunar surface, where the sixth of gravity is compared to Earth.
The astronauts then took more rock samples with blades and tongs with an extended handle. However, many activities took longer than expected, so the collection of materials was completed in half the time. Even so, we managed to get about twenty kilograms of rocks that were later identified as basalt and breccia. In addition, three new minerals have been discovered: armalcolit, tranquillityite, and pyroxferroit.
Total Armstrong and Aldrin spent on the Moon 2 hours, 31 minutes 40 seconds. Then they returned to the lunar return module, started, and climbed into orbit, where they successfully teamed up with the command module, where Collins was waiting all the time. On July 24, astronauts landed in the Pacific Ocean, where they were evacuated by a helicopter to an aircraft carrier.
Apollo 12 was Apollo's sixth crewed crew. From the Kennedy Space Center he started just four months after the first successful mission – November 14, 1969. On board the spacecraft, they were commander Charles "Pete" Conrad, lunar module pilot Alan L. Bean and pilot module command Richard F. Gordon. The landing site was the southeastern part of the Ocean storm.
Apollo 12 Crew (from left: Conrad, Gordon and Bean)
After three days, the spacecraft entered the Moon's orbit and separated the lunar module. Unlike Apollo 11, on November 19, Conrad and Bean managed to land exactly in the expected area. This was quite important because one of the mission's tasks was to remove the camera and from the Surveyor 3 probe, which landed two years earlier in the same location.
The third person who entered the surface of the moon was Charles Conrad, and Alan L. Bean could experience this experience shortly afterwards. A color camera was also included to improve the quality of the shots. But when Bean took the camera to a location near the module, he inadvertently pointed it to the Sun and destroyed it.
Charles Conrad Jr., commander of Apollo 12, at the Surveyor III probe
Other tasks filled by astronauts during the two ascents included collecting materials from the surface and installing equipment to measure the moon's seismicity, solar wind flow, and magnetic field. Total on the surface spent 7 hours, 45 minutes and 18 seconds.
After returning to the command module, the whole day was still shooting the surface. This was followed by a return to Earth. The module successfully landed in the South Pacific area on November 24 and lasted 10 days, 4 hours, 36 minutes, and 24 seconds.
The reputation of number 13 as an unfortunate confirmed the third manned flight to the Moon to which Apollo 13 it never happened. During the flight there was an explosion of one of the oxygen tanks and a crew threat, consisting of Jim Lovell, John Swigert and Fred Hais. However, the thrilling battle for life ended well and on April 17, 1970 he landed in the Pacific Ocean.
However, this unfortunate event did not stop the next moon, and so on January 31, 1971, the Saturn V rocket delivered a ship Apollo 14. Her crew was at that time the oldest American astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Stuart A. Roos and Edgar D. Mitchell.
Apollo 14 Crew (from left: Roosa, Shepard and Mitchell)
On February 4, Apollo 14 reached the orbit of the Moon, and the following day Shepard and Mitchell moved into the lunar Antares module with which they went to the surface. Landing could not be done without any problems – because the command computer indicated a request to interrupt the landing operation due to a faulty switch.
Despite these complications, the lunar module came to the Moon, where it successfully landed in an area that astronauts named Fra Mauro Base. The equipment also included a two-wheeled cart, which the astronauts nicknamed the "lunar rickshaw" and used it to transport equipment and samples.
In total, two ascents were made, with Shepard and Mitchell coming to Cone, a mile and a half distant, during the second. Unfortunately, this failed – in addition to poor orientation, astronauts fought with exhaustion, and their oxygen supplies began to shrink. This part of the mission was eventually canceled.
Apollo 14 landing in the Pacific Ocean
Shepard and Mitchell installed and activated various experimental science instruments and collected nearly 45 kilograms of monthly samples that they shipped back to Earth. One of the attractions of this mission is the launch of two golf balls, which flew to a distance of between 200 and 400 meters due to low gravity.
Then the lunar module returned to orbit where it merged with the commander. On February 9, 1971, a successful landing took place in the southern Pacific Ocean. This crew was the last to return to the Moon spend some time in quarantine.
On July 26, 1971, another Saturn V rocket launched to launch the spacecraft Apollo 15. Her crew formed David R. Scott, Alfred M. Worden and James B. Irwin. Because the missile had higher power and load capacity, it was possible to load into the monthly module electric Rover.
Apollo 15 Crew (from left: Scott, Worden and Irwin)
The mission of the extended stay mission on the Moon was primarily scientific experiments. Commander David Scott and lunar pilot James Irwin landed 30th July near the moon furrows of Rima Hadley, located at the foot of the Montes Apenninus mountain range.
They spent a total of four outputs on the surface 18.5 hours, during which, among other things, they collected 77 kilograms of materials. The astronauts wore upgraded A7LB suits, differing in, for example, the different fasteners that were supposed to facilitate their dressing and undressing in the cramped lunar module.
Rover weighed 209 kilograms (but "six times less" on the moon), powered by a 200-watt electric motor to transport both astronauts, equipment and samples. With a maximum speed of between 10 and 12 km / h, the crew could move further away from the module than during previous missions.
Apollo 15 Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin
On August 2, the lunar module set off on its way to the command module. After the transfer of the astronauts he followed the flight back to the home planet. Landing in the Pacific Ocean was a little harder than expected, as it was during the descent he didn't open one of the three parachutes. However, the crew survived this incident in health.
Another flight to the moon started on April 16, 1972, and his crew formed John W. Young, Thomas K. Mattingly and Charles M. Duke Jr.. After reaching the moon orbit, Young and Duke moved to the Orion Lunar Module 21st April they landed successfully on the Moon where they spent less than three days.
Apollo 16 Crew (from left: Mattingly, Young and Duke)
During this time, they completed three overall lengths 20 hours, 14 minutes and 14 seconds. During them, they collected over 95 kilograms of samples they shipped to Earth for further research. This time, they also had a Rover lunar vehicle with 26.7 kilometers.
The aim was to clarify some of the uncertainties surrounding the understanding of the Moon's characteristics. For example, astronauts were tasked with exploring the crater and focusing on the possible evidence of earlier volcanic activity. For this reason, a place between two young impact craters North Ray and South Ray was chosen for landing.
John Young on the Moon
On April 24, 1972, Young and Duke returned to the command module, which was waiting for them in orbit and set out on a path to return to Earth. 310,000 kilometers from the home planet Ken Mattingly stepped out of the shipto take films with photographed materials. A successful landing took place on April 27, 1972 in the southern Pacific Ocean.
Yet the last people walking on the moon, launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on December 7, 1972. On board the Apollo 17 were three astronauts: a flight commander Eugene A. Cernan, pilot of the command module Ronald Evans and the lunar pilot Harrison Schmitt.
Apollo 17 Crew (from left: Schmitt, Cernan (sitting) and Evans)
Ronald Evans remained in America's command module after orbit, while Cernan and Schmitt set off to the Moon lunar Challenger. Here they landed successfully 11th December and spent a total of 75 hours here.
Again, there were three outputs on the program that lasted 22 hours and 4 minutes. They had a Rover with which they traveled more than 33 kilometers and collected 110.5 kilograms of samples, including orange rock.
Eugene Cernan on a lunar cart
The last mission is over December 14, 1972 – Since then, the human foot has not stepped into the moon. While returning to Earth, Ronald Evans performed more than an hour's climb into the open universe, during which he removed three exposed film cartridges. Apollo 17 command module landed on December 19, 1972 in the Pacific Ocean near the Samoa archipelago, closing the history of "conquering the moon" (at least for now).