Jun 06

Space Rocket History #257 – Apollo 12 – Return, Re-entry and Splashdown

Ten days ago, their Saturn V rocket had blasted Bean and his crew mates out of earth’s gravitational pull. Now their home planet was pulling them back at more than 24,000 miles per hour, twelve times faster than a high-speed rifle bullet. “Boy,” said Bean, “we are really hauling!”

Apollo 12 splashdown

Apollo 12 recovery

Apollo 12 mobile quarantine

May 30

Space Rocket History #256 – Apollo 12 – Leaving the Moon

Dick Gordon opened the tunnel to Intrepid, saw his companions floating in a dirty cloud of moon dust, and slammed the hatch closed. He called out, “You guys ain’t gonna mess up my nice clean spacecraft!”

LM Rendezvous Radar and CSM Target Orientation

LM docking with CM over the Moon

Intrepid descent stage

May 23

Space Rocket History #255 – Apollo 12 – Lunar Liftoff

After a total of 31.6 hours on the moon, the Lunar Module ascent stage fired for about 7 minutes placing Intrepid into an orbit of 10 miles by 54 miles.

Post EVA 2 checklist

Pan view out of Intrepid’s windows

Post EVA Cabin Cleanup Checklist

May 09

Space Rocket History #254 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 5 – Blocky Crater & Closeout

Conrad and Bean now walked north, up Surveyor Crater’s 14 degree slope. Fatigue set in as Pete and Al walked up the crater wall. The hand tool carrier was nearly full of rocks now and Bean felt the full weight of it.

Partial Panorama of Blocky Crater with LM in the background

“Fun is Wherever You Find it” by Al Bean

Back inside Intrepid

May 02

Space Rocket History #253 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 4 – Surveyor Crater & Surveyor 3

Surveyor 3 was now to their right, 300 feet away, gleaming in the morning sunlight. Antennas and sensors still reached upward from its tubular frame, just as they had on April 20, 1967, when the spacecraft thumped onto the moon amid blasts from its braking rockets.

Approaching Surveyor 3 with LM in background

“The Fabulous Photo We Never Took.” by Alan Bean

Al Bean, Surveyor 3, and Intrepid

Apr 18

Space Rocket History #252 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 3 – Rock ‘n’ Roll at Halo Crater

The problem with running into the sun was it was so bright that Conrad and Bean could not see the moon’s surface features until they were right on top of them.

EVA 2 Traverse Map

Conrad’s photo of Bean on the way to Halo Crater

Rock ‘n’ Roll on the Ocean of Storms by Alan Bean

Apr 11

Space Rocket History #251 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 2 – Bench and Sharp Craters

While Conrad led the way, Bean watched the ground for something interesting. It wasn’t easy to do field geology while running, and on the moon.

Bench Crater

Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report

Sharp Crater. 1200 feet from the LM.

 

Mar 28

Space Rocket History #249 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 1 – Part 3

Most of the remaining moon walk time was spent collecting rock samples, making surface observations such as the small mounds or hills, and taking pictures.

Middle Crescent Crater

“He Ain’t Heavy” Painting by Alan Bean

Pete Conrad working at the MESA