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Picture of Apollo 12 lunar module
NASA

Apollo 12

Apollo 12 was launched on Nov. 14, 1969, surviving a lightning strike which temporarily shut down many systems, and arrived at the Moon three days later. Astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean descended to the surface, while Richard Gordon remained in lunar orbit aboard the Command Module.

Computers accurately guided the Lunar Module to a landing site close to that of the Surveyor 3 probe which had landed on the Moon two years earlier. The astronauts each performed two moon walks, during which they visited the Surveyor spacecraft and took some of its parts back to Earth for further study.

They also collected rock and soil samples, and deployed a lunar surface experiments package which would measure seismic and magnetic activity on the Moon.

The Apollo 12 mission was a complete success but, due to a broken television camera, its progress was not seen by audiences back on Earth.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF