Apollo 16 50 Years Later: Remarkable Images Show Historical Mission

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Amazing images show the historic Apollo 16 mission 50 years after its launch to the moon.

The images, created by “Apollo Remastered” author Andy Saunders, show NASA’s lunar module “Orion” pilot Charles Duke, who deals with the view of the hilly Descartes highlands, the command and service module “Casper” over the lunar horizon, Commander John Young’s “giant leap,” the moon’s rover and a photo of Duke and his family on the moon’s surface.

Saunders, which has previously shared remastered photos of the Apollo 15-moon landing, regularly posts new photos on Twitter and Instagram.


The second of the three “J missions”, Apollo 16’s primary objective was to inspect, examine and test materials and surface properties at the highland area in the moon’s southeast quadrant, to place and activate surface experiments and to perform in-flight experiments and photographic tasks from the moon. orbit.

The astronauts took off aboard the Saturn-V SA-511 rocket at 12:54 PM EST on April 16, 1972 from Launch Complex 39 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The lunar module with Young and Duke landed at Descartes – albeit almost six hours late – at. 21:24 EST on April 20, about 276 meters northwest of the planned point.

There were two major command module issues, including one on the way to the moon and one in lunar orbit, which contributed to the delay of the landing and the subsequent early completion of the mission by one day.

An erroneous signal indicating that the control system gimbal during the translunar coastal phase was neutralized by real-time programming and backup circuits caused yaw oscillations of the service propulsion system, leading to a delay in the circularization combustion of the command module.

The Lunar Module landing was held until engineers found that the oscillations would not seriously affect the control of the command module.

During the more than 71 hours and two minutes of surface stay, astronauts explored the region on three extravehicular activities (EVA), totaling 20 hours and 14 minutes.

The first EVA included Lunar Roving Vehicle setup and Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) implementation, and the Heat flow experiment was lost when Young tripped and broke the electronics cable.

The astronauts collected samples and photographed the Flag Crater, took the first measurement with the moon’s portable magnetometer at the Spook Crater, and implemented the solar wind composition experiment at the ALSEP site.


They collected samples of the core, surface, and trench in the area of ​​the Cinco craters during the Second EVA, and portable moon magnetometer measurements were taken near Cinco.

A time constraint on fulfilling the ascent plan cut the third EVA map, during which the crater rim of “House Rock” and “Shadow Rock” were taken out, and measurements of the moon’s portable magnetometer were taken there and in the rover parking lot, along with the final samples. Finally, they retrieved the solar wind composition and film from a remote ultraviolet camera / spectroscope.

Command module pilot Thomas K. “Ken” Mattingly orbited the moon with cameras and Scientific Instrument Module (SIM) bay instruments that were operational during Young and Duke’s surface stays, verifying Apollo 15 data and information about the moon’s terrain.

By the end, Young and Duke had collected 209 pounds of samples and driven the rover 16.6 miles.

The moon lift took place on April 23 at. 20:26 EST.

The lunar module was discarded after normal encounter and docking, and the altitude was lost, eliminating the usual deorbit maneuver and planned crashes.

Planners chose to return the mission a day early and – after Mattingly’s 83-minute spacewalk to film cassettes from SIM Bay – they splashed into the Pacific Ocean just before noon. 15 EST April 27th.

The total mission time was 265 hours and 51 minutes, or just over 11 days.

In particular, the Particles and Fields subsatellite was launched on April 24 at. 16:56 EST to study the mass and gravitational variations of the moon, the particle composition of space near the moon, and the interaction between the moon’s magnetic field and the Earth’s.

Saunders noted that when Mattingly noticed a problem with the main engine on the command module, the three astronauts had to visually stay in the lunar orbit for the four hours it took for Mission Control to assess the problem.

Saunders said a picture taken of Duke – showing the command module over the moon’s surface as the blue earth rises – conveys the extent of their performance.


Duke, who left a portrait of his family on the moon’s surface after the third EVA, told him it was an emotional moment.

While the photograph was probably quickly faded and crumpled, Saunders sends a copy of the photograph in a small capsule back to the moon this year on the unscrewed Astrobotic Peregrine lander.

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