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Apollo 16: Crewed Lunar Landing

Mission Details

Mission Name: Apollo 16
Mission Type: Crewed Lunar Lander
Operator: NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
Launching State: United States
Location: Descartes Highlands
Latitude: -8.959
Longitude: 15.4986
Launch Date: 16 April 1972, 17:54:00 UT
Landing Date: 21 April 1972, 02:23:35 UT
Crew: John W. Young, commander; Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot; Thomas K. Mattingly II, command module pilot
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Image Source: NASA


The mission of the Apollo program was to perform a crewed lunar landing. The first four flights, including Apollo 10, tested the equipment used to ultimately place humans on the lunar surface.

The first Apollo flight happened in 1968. The first Moon landing took place in 1969. The last Moon landing was in 1972. A total of twelve humans walked on the Moon as a result of the Apollo program.

Per NASA: Three primary objectives were:

  1. To inspect, survey, and sample materials and surface features at a selected landing site in the Descartes region.
  2. Emplace and activate surface experiments.
  3. Conduct in-flight experiments and photographic tasks from lunar orbit. Additional objectives included performance of experiments requiring zero gravity and engineering evaluation of spacecraft and equipment.

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Heritage Consideration

Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly orbited the Moon while astronauts John Young and Charlie Duke were on its surface. Apollo 16’s landing spot was chosen in order to gather geologically older lunar material. Charlie Duke left a picture of his family on the site.

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Apollo 17: Crewed Lunar Landing
Scientific objectives of the Apollo 17 mission included, geological surveying and sampling of materials and surface features in a preselected area of the Taurus-Littrow region; deploying and activating surface experiments; and conducting in-flight experiments and photographic tasks during lunar orbit and transearth coast.
Apollo 15: Crewed Lunar Landing
Apollo 15 was the first of the Apollo "J" missions capable of a longer stay time on the moon and greater surface mobility. There were four primary objectives falling in the general categories of lunar surface science, lunar orbital science and engineering-operational.
Apollo 14: Crewed Lunar Landing
The primary objectives of this mission were to explore the Fra Mauro region centered around deployment of the Apollo Lunar Surface Scientific Experiments Package, or ALSEP; lunar field geology investigations; collection of surface material samples for return to Earth.
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