The date of July 20, 1969 entered history as a day when man first landed on the moon. So far, it is the only cosmic body off the Earth where a human foot has entered. Although preparations are underway for the Mars expedition, the sad fact is that the last person walked on a surface different from the surface of the Earth, almost 47 years ago.
A total of seven teams were sent to the Moon and only twelve cosmonauts walked along its surface. However, other plans to visit our space mate ended the cuts in NASA budgets that emerged in the 1970s. Let's imagine a dozen of those who have a chance to look at our planet from the moon.
The unequivocal primacy belongs to the crew consisting of the commander Neil A. Armstrongpilot module Michael Collins and the lunar module pilot Edwin "Buzz" E. Aldrin. Apollo 11 brought the Saturn V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969.
Apollo 11 Crew (left: Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin)
The spacecraft had three parts: a command module with a cabin for three astronauts and a section returning to Earth; a service module that supported the main module for energy, energy, oxygen and water; and a lunar module designed to land on the moon and return the astronauts to orbit.
After three days of flight, Apollo 11 entered the orbit of the Moon. Armstrong and Aldrin then moved to the Eagle module, with which they landed successfully in the Sea of Peace. Preparing for the climb lasted more than originally planned – three and a half hours instead of two. While on Earth, all needs were clearly organized, there were a number of other things in the module cabin – such as food packages and tools.
The output was broadcast on television so that viewers could watch live on the first two people on the moon. Six and a half hours after landing, Neil A. Armstrong took the first step and said a memorable phrase: "It's a small step for a man, a huge leap for mankind."
Then Armstrong took samples on the surface he hid in his suit pocket. The astronauts devoted themselves to photography and tried to move on the lunar surface, where the sixth of gravity is compared to Earth.
The astronauts took more rock samples with blades and tweezers with an extended handle. However, many activities took longer than expected, so the collection of materials was completed in half the time. Even so, we managed to get about twenty kilos of rocks that were later identified as basalt and breccia. In addition, three new minerals have been discovered: armalcolit, tranquilillityite and pyroxferroit.
Total Armstrong and Aldrin passed on the Moon 2 hours, 31 minutes and 40 seconds. Then they returned to the lunar return module, started and went into orbit, where they successfully merged with the command module, where Collins was waiting all the time. On July 24, astronauts landed in the Pacific Ocean, where they were evacuated by helicopter to an aircraft carrier.
Apollo 12 was Apollo's sixth manned crew. From the Kennedy Space Center, it began only four months after the first successful mission – November 14, 1969. On board the spacecraft, they were commanders. Charles "Pete" Conradlunar module pilot Alan L. Bean and control of the pilot module Richard F. Gordon. The landing site was the southeastern part of the ocean storm.
Apollo 12 Crew (from left: Conrad, Gordon and Bean)
After three days, the spacecraft entered the orbit of the Moon and separated the lunar module. Unlike Apollo 11, on November 19, Conrad and Bean were able to land exactly in the expected area. This was very important because one of the tasks of the mission was to remove the camera and the Surveyor 3 probe, which landed two years earlier, at the same location.
The third person who entered the surface of the moon was Charles Conrad, and Alan L. Bean was able to experience that experience shortly thereafter. A color camera was also included to improve the quality of the photos. But when Bean took the camera to a location near the module, he inadvertently pointed to the Sun and destroyed it.
Charles Conrad Jr., commander of Apollo 12, on Surveyor III probe
Other tasks occupied by the astronauts during the two climbs included collecting surface materials and installing equipment to measure the moon's seismicity, solar windflow, and magnetic field. Total on worn surface 7 hours, 45 minutes and 18 seconds.
After returning to the command module, the whole day was still filming the surface. This was followed by a return to Earth. The module landed successfully in the South Pacific area on November 24 and lasted 10 days, 4 hours, 36 minutes and 24 seconds.
The reputation of number 13 as an unfortunate confirmed the third manned flight to the Moon to which Apollo 13 This never happened. During the flight, there was an explosion of one of the oxygen tanks and a menace of the crew, consisting of Jim Lovell, John Swigert and Fred Hais. However, the exciting battle for life ended well and on April 17, 1970 it landed in the Pacific Ocean.
However, this unfortunate event did not stop the next moon, and so on January 31, 1971, the Saturn V rocket delivered a ship Apollo 14. His crew was at that time the oldest American astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Stuart A. Roos one Edgar D. Mitchell.
Apollo 14 Crew (left: Roosa, Shepard and Mitchell)
On February 4, Apollo 14 reached the orbit of the Moon, and the next day, Shepard and Mitchell entered the lunar module of Antares with which they went to the surface. The landing could not be done without a problem – because the command computer indicated a request to stop the landing operation due to a faulty switch.
Despite these complications, the lunar module arrived on the Moon, where it landed successfully in an area that the astronauts called Fra Mauro Base. The equipment also included a two-wheeled cart, which the astronauts called "lunar rickshaws" and used it to carry equipment and samples.
In total, two climbs were made, with Shepard and Mitchell coming to Cone, a mile and a half away, during the second. Unfortunately, that failed – in addition to lack of guidance, the astronauts struggled with exhaustion and their oxygen supply began to decline. This part of the mission was eventually canceled.
Apollo 14 landing on the Pacific Ocean
Shepard and Mitchell installed and activated several experimental scientific instruments and collected nearly 45 kilograms of monthly samples that they sent back to Earth. One of the attractions of this mission is the launching of two golf balls, which flew at a distance of between 200 and 400 meters due to low gravity.
Then the lunar module returned to orbit where it merged with the commander. On February 9, 1971, a successful landing took place in the southern Pacific Ocean. This crew was the last to return to the moon. spend some time in quarantine.
On July 26, 1971, another Saturn V rocket was launched to launch the spacecraft Apollo 15. Your team formed David R. Scott, Alfred M. Worden one James B. Irwin. As the missile had greater power and load capacity, it was possible to load in the monthly module Electric Rover.
Apollo 15 Crew (left: Scott, Worden and Irwin)
The mission of the extended stay mission on the Moon was mainly scientific experiments. Commander David Scott and lunar pilot James Irwin landed July 30 near the ridges of Rima Hadley's moon, located at the foot of the Montes Apenninus mountain range.
They spent a total of four exits on the surface 18.5 hoursduring which, among other things, they collected 77 kilos of materials. The astronauts used updated A7LB suits, differing, for example, in the different fasteners that supposedly facilitated their use and undressing in the tight lunar module.
The Rover weighed 209 kg (but "six times less" on the moon) powered by a 200-watt electric motor to carry astronauts, equipment and samples. With a maximum speed between 10 and 12 km / h, the crew could move away more of the module than in previous missions.
Apollo 15 Lunar Module Pilot, James Irwin
On August 2, the lunar module departed for the command module. After the transfer of the astronauts, he followed the flight back to his home planet. Disembark in the Pacific Ocean was a little more difficult than expected, as it was during the descent he did not open one of the three parachutes. However, the crew survived this health incident.
Another flight to the moon began on April 16, 1972, and its crew formed John W. Young, Thomas K. Mattingly one Charles M. Duke Jr.. After reaching the orbit of the moon, Young and Duke moved to the Orion Lunar module April 21 They landed successfully on the moon, where they spent less than three days.
Apollo 16 Crew (left: Mattingly, Young and Duke)
During this time, they completed three general lengths 20 hours, 14 minutes and 14 seconds. During them, they collected more than 95 pounds of samples they sent to Earth for future research. This time, they also had a lunar Rover vehicle with 26.7 miles.
The goal was to clarify some of the uncertainties surrounding understanding the Moon's characteristics. For example, astronauts were tasked with exploring the crater and focusing on possible evidence of previous volcanic activity. For this reason, a spot between two young craters of North Ray and South Ray impact was chosen for the landing.
John Young on the Moon
On April 24, 1972, Young and Duke returned to the command module, which was waiting for them in orbit and set out on a path to return to Earth. 310,000 kilometers from the homeworld Ken Mattingly left the shipmake films with photographed materials. A successful landing occurred on April 27, 1972 in the southern Pacific Ocean.
So far the last people walking on the moon, launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on December 7, 1972. On board the Apollo 17 were three astronauts: a flight commander Eugene A. Cernanpilot module Ronald Evans and the lunar pilot Harrison Schmitt.
Apollo 17 Crew (left: Schmitt, Cernan (seated) and Evans)
Ronald Evans remained in the US command module after orbit, while Cernan and Schmitt left for the Lunar Challenger. Here they landed successfully. December 11 and spent a total of 75 hours here.
Once again, there were three exits in the program that lasted 22 hours and 4 minutes. They had a Rover with which they traveled more than 33 kilometers and collected 110.5 kilograms of samples, including orange rock.
Eugene Cernan in a lunar cart
The last mission ended. December 14, 1972 Since then, the human foot has not entered the moon. While returning to Earth, Ronald Evans performed more than an hour of climbing into the open universe, during which he removed three cartridges of exposed film. The command module of Apollo 17 landed on December 19, 1972 in the Pacific Ocean near the Samoan archipelago, closing the story of the "conquest of the moon" (at least for now).