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

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

Mar 21

Space Rocket History #248 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 1 – Part 2 – ALSEP

According to the checklist, Bean was allowed 5 minutes to gain his balance and learn to walk on the Moon. Bean was amazed at his new buoyancy saying, “You can jump up in the air…”  But Conrad wanted to press on saying, “Hustle, boy, hustle! We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

TV camera pointed at the sun

Bean carrying the ALSEP

EVA 1 cuff checklist

Mar 07

Space Rocket History #246 – Apollo 12 – Pin Point Landing Part 2 – Right Down the Middle of the Road

“Hey, there it is! There it is! Son of a gun, right down the middle of the road! Look out there! I can’t believe it! Fantastic!”  Pete Conrad when he saw his landing site.

From l to r, director of flight operations Chris Kraft, and flight director Gerry Griffin

Jerry Carr, capcom for Apollo 12 Lunar landing

Landing of Intrepid

Feb 28

Space Rocket History #245 – Apollo 12 – Pin Point Landing Part 1 – Right Down the Middle of the Road

There was adrenaline in Pete Conrad’s voice as he counted down the last seconds before ignition. He and Bean were still weightless, but their bodies were secured to the cabin floor by harnesses. “Seven, six, five.”  Conrad pushed the PROCEED button on the computer, and a moment later Intrepid’s  descent engine ignited 50,000 feet above the moon.

Apollo 12 Command Module separating from Lunar Module

Apollo landing sites comparison

Apollo 12 landing site photographed from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Feb 21

Space Rocket History #244 – Apollo 12 – Lunar Orbit

At 83 hours mission elapsed time, the long lunar coast was almost over. It was time for the lunar orbit insertion burn. This burn would put Yankee Clipper and Intrepid into lunar orbit.

Earthrise from Apollo 12

Apollo 12 – Snowman landing site

Rough Moon topography