Memo, James A. McDivitt, MSC, to Rocco A. Petrone, NASA Hq., "Media coverage of Apollo 12 and 14 experiments," Jan. 18, 1971.
Memo, Rocco A. Petrone, NASA Hq., to Apollo 14 Flight Readiness Review Record, "Confirmation of Flight Readiness for the Apollo 14 Mission," Jan. 29, 1971.
Apollo 14 entered lunar orbit at 1:55 a.m. EST on February 4. At 2:41 a.m. the separated S-IVB stage and instrument unit struck the lunar surface 174 kilometers southeast of the planned impact point. The Apollo 12 seismometer, left on the moon in November 1969, registered the impact and continued to record vibrations for two hours.
After rechecking the systems in the LM, astronauts Shepard and Mitchell separated the LM from the CSM and descended to the lunar surface. The Antares landed on Fra Mauro at 4:17 a.m. EST February 5, 9 to 18 meters short of the planned landing point. The first EVA began at 9:53 a.m., after intermittent communications problems in the portable life support system had caused a 49-minute delay. The two astronauts collected a 19.5-kilogram contingency sample; deployed the TV, S-band antenna, American flag, and Solar Wind Composition experiment; photographed the LM, lunar surface, and experiments; deployed the Apollo lunar surface experiments package 152 meters west of the LM and the laser-ranging retroreflector 30 meters west of the ALSEP; and conducted an active seismic experiment, firing 13 thumper shots into the lunar surface.
A second EVA period began at 3:11 a.m. EST February 6. The two astronauts loaded the mobile equipment transporter (MET) - used for the first time - with photographic equipment, tools, and a lunar portable magnetometer. They made a geology traverse toward the rim of Cone Crater, collecting samples on the way. On their return, they adjusted the alignment of the ALSEP central station antenna in an effort to strengthen the signal received by the Manned Space Flight Network ground stations back on earth.
Just before reentering the LM, astronaut Shepard dropped a golf ball onto the lunar surface and on the third swing drove the ball 366 meters. The second EVA had lasted 4 hours 35 minutes, making a total EVA time for the mission of 9 hours 24 minutes. The Antares lifted off the moon with 43 kilograms of lunar samples at 1:48 p.m. EST February 6.
Meanwhile astronaut Roosa, orbiting the moon in the CSM, took astronomy and lunar photos, including photos of the proposed Descartes landing site for Apollo 16.
Ascent of the LM from the lunar surface, rendezvous, and docking with the CSM in orbit were performed as planned, with docking at 3:36 p.m. EST February 6. TV coverage of the rendezvous and docking maneuver was excellent. The two astronauts transferred from the LM to the CSM with samples, equipment, and film. The LM ascent stage was then jettisoned and intentionally crashed on the moon's surface at 7:46 p.m. The impact was recorded by the Apollo 12 and Apollo 14 ALSEPs.
The spacecraft was placed on its trajectory toward earth during the 34th lunar revolution. During transearth coast, four inflight technical demonstrations of equipment and processes in zero gravity were performed.
The CM and SM separated, the parachutes deployed, and other reentry events went as planned, and the Kitty Hawk splashed down in mid-Pacific at 4:05 p.m. EST February 9 about 7 kilometers from the recovery ship U.S.S. New Orleans. The Apollo 14 crew returned to Houston on February 12, where they remained in quarantine until February 26.
All primary mission objectives had been met (see Appendix 5). The mission had lasted 216 hours 40 minutes and was marked by the following achievements:
Ltr., James A. McDivitt, MSC, to Richard G. Smith, MSFC, "Sharp corners on current lunar roving vehicle design," Feb. 22, 1971.
Ltr., Richard G. Smith, MSFC, to Rocco A. Petrone, NASA Hq., "LRV Manual Deployment System," March 1, 1971.
TWX, Rocco A. Petrone, NASA Hq., to James A. McDivitt, MSC, "Lunar eclipse during Apollo 15 mission," March 10, 1971.
Low announcement, "Decision to Terminate Quarantine under NMI 1052.90 (Attachment A, Change 1, 2)," April 26, 1971; ltr., Dale D. Myers, NASA Hq., to MSC Director, "Decision to Terminate Quarantine," May 10, 1971; TWX, J. W. Humphreys, NASA Hq., "Discontinuance of Lunar Quarantine," April 28, 1971.
Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1971 (NASA SP-4018, 1972), pp. 56-57, 59, 68, 69, 72, 114.
MSFC Key Personnel Announcement, April 30, 1971; ltr., Eberhard F. M. Rees, MSFC, to Robert R. Gilruth, MSC, May 3, 1971.
Ltr., Lee R. Scherer, NASA Hq., to distr.," Apollo 16 and 17 Site Selection Discussions," May 5, 1971; TWX, Rocco A. Petrone, NASA Hq., to James A. McDivitt, MSC, et al., "Apollo 16 Landing Site," June 11, 1971.
TWX, Leland F. Belew, MSFC, to William C. Schneider and John H. Disher, NASA Hq., Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, James A. McDivitt, and Ronald W. Kubicki, MSC, "Contamination Measurements on Apollo," May 13, 1971; memo, Leland F. Belew, MSFC,to ASPO and Skylab Managers, MSC, "Background and Justification for Apollo 16 Skylab Data Request," Sept. 10, 1971.
S-IVB auxiliary propulsion system burns sent the S-IVB/IU stages toward the moon, where they impacted the lunar surface at 4:59 p.m. EDT July 29. The point of impact was 188 kilometers northeast of the Apollo 14 landing site and 355 kilometers northeast of the Apollo 12 site. The impact was detected by both the Apollo 12 and Apollo 14 seismometers, left on the moon in November 1969 and February 1971.
After the translunar coast, during which TV pictures of the CSM and LM interiors were shown and the LM communications and other systems were checked, Apollo 15 entered lunar orbit at 4:06 p.m. EDT July 29.
The LM-10 Falcon, with astronauts Scott and Irwin aboard, undocked and separated from the Endeavor (CSM 112) with astronaut Worden aboard. At 6:16 p.m. EDT July 30, the Falcon landed in the Hadley-Apennine region of the moon 600 meters north-northwest of the proposed target. About two hours later, following cabin depressurization, Scott performed a 33-minute standup EVA in the upper hatch of the LM, during which he described and photographed the landing site.
The first crew EVA on the lunar surface began at 9:04 a.m. July 31. The crew collected and stowed a contingency sample, unpacked the ALSEP and other experiments, and prepared the lunar roving vehicle (LRV) for operations. Some problems were encountered in the deployment and checkout of the LRV, used for the first time, but they were quickly resolved. The first EVA traverse was to the Apennine mountain front, after which the ALSEP was deployed and activated, and one probe of a Heat Flow experiment was emplaced. A second probe was not emplaced until EVA-2 because of drilling difficulties. The first EVA lasted 6 hours 33 minutes.
At 7:49 a.m. EDT August 1, the second EVA began. The astronauts made a maintenance check on the LRV and then began the second planned traverse of the mission. On completion of the traverse, Scott and Irwin completed the placement of heat flow experiment probes, collected a core sample, and deployed the American flag. They then stowed the sample container and the film in the LM, completing a second EVA of 7 hours 12 minutes.
The third EVA began at 4:52 a.m. August 2, included another traverse, and ended 4 hours 50 minutes later, for a total Apollo 15 lunar surface EVA time of 18 hours 35 minutes.
While the lunar module was on the moon, astronaut Worden completed 34 lunar orbits in the CSM operating scientific instrument module experiments and cameras to obtain data concerning the lunar surface and environment. X-ray spectrometer data indicated richer abundance of aluminum in the highlands, especially on the far side, but greater concentrations of magnesium in the maria.
Liftoff of the ascent stage of the LM, the first one to be televised, occurred at 1:11 p.m. EDT August 2. About two hours later the LM and CSM rendezvoused and docked, and film, equipment, and 77 kilograms of lunar samples were transferred from the LM to the CSM. The ascent stage was jettisoned and hit the lunar surface at 11:04 p.m. EDT August 2. Its impact was recorded by the Apollo 12, Apollo 14, and Apollo 15 seismometers, left on the moon during those missions. Before leaving the lunar orbit, the spacecraft deployed a subsatellite, at 4:13 p.m. August 4, in an orbit of 141.3 by 102 kilometers. The satellite would measure interplanetary and earth magnetic fields near the moon. It also carried charged-particle sensors and equipment to detect variations in lunar gravity caused by mascons (mass concentrations).
A transearth injection maneuver at 5:23 p.m. August 4 put the CSM on an earth trajectory. During the transearth coast, astronaut Worden performed an inflight EVA beginning at 11:32 a.m. August 5 and lasting for 38 minutes 12 seconds. He made three trips to the scientific instrument module (SIM) bay of the SM, twice to retrieve cassettes and once to observe the condition of the instruments in the SIM bay.
CM and SM separation, parachute deployment, and other reentry events went as planned, but one of the three main parachutes failed, causing a hard but safe landing. Splashdown - at 4:47 p.m. EDT August 7, after 12 days 7 hours 12 minutes from launch - was 530 kilometers north of Hawaii and 10 kilometers from the recovery ship U.S.S. Okinawa. The astronauts were carried to the ship by helicopter, and the CM was retrieved and placed on board. All primary mission objectives had been achieved (see Appendix 5).
MSC, "Apollo 15 Mission Report" (MSC-05161), December 1971; MSC, "Apollo 15 (AS-510) Flight Summary," undated; TWX, H. F. Kurtz, MSFC, to C. M. Lee, NASA Hq., "Apollo 15 (AS-510) HOSC Report," July 26, 1971; MSFC, "Saturn Evaluation Bulletin," No. 1, 2, and 3, Aug. 3, 13, 27, 1971; ltr., Lee, "Mission Director's Summary Report, Apollo 15," Aug. 7, 1971: KSC, "Apollo 15 Post-Launch Report," Aug. 12, 1971.
The most likely cause of the parachute collapse was damage from burning raw RCS fuel (monomethyl hydrazine) being expelled during depletion firing. Corrective action included landing with reaction control system propellants on board for a normal landing and biasing the propellant load to a slight excess of oxidizer and increasing the time delay inhibiting the rapid propellant dump, to avoid fuel contacting the parachute riser and suspension lines during low-altitude-abort land landings.
Highlights of Manned Space Management Council Meeting," Oct. 18, 1971.
Ltr., William W. Rubey and Robert A. Phinney, Cochairmen, Lunar Sample Review Board, to John E. Naugle, NASA Hq., Oct. 21, 1971.