Apollo 16 LogoApollo 16

Launched: April 16, 1972
Landed: April 20, 1972, Descartes Highlands
Splashed Down: April 27, 1972

Crew:

A malfunction in the main propulsion system of the Lunar Module "Orion" almost scrubbed the landing, but after its success Young and Duke spent three days exploring the geologically interesting Descartes Highlands region while Mattingly circled overhead in the Command Module "Casper."

It was thought that Descartes may be an area of active volcanism, but this proved not to be the case. Among other specimens, the astronauts returned the largest moon rock ever, a 23-pound chunk that turned out to contain not even a single gram of green cheese.

During this flight the moon racers also had a bit of fun testing out the capabilities of the Lunar Rover, at one point getting it up to almost 11 miles per hour!

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Updated November 12, 2008
Charles Redmond, Author
Steven J. Dick, NASA Chief Historian
Steve Garber, NASA History Web Curator
For further information E-mail histinfo@hq.nasa.gov