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Picture of Apollo 12 lunar module
NASA

Apollo 12

Apollo 12 survived a lightning strike during its launch on Nov. 14, 1969, 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 in the Ocean of Storms, close to that of the Surveyor 3 probe which had landed on the Moon two years earlier. The astronauts each performed two EVA's, during which they collected soil and rock samples, and recovered parts of the Surveyor spacecraft for further study. Scientists back on Earth were very interested in learning how long-term exposure to the lunar environment had affected their equipment, with plans for a lunar base in the distant future.

The astronauts also 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 unfortunately was not seen by audiences back on Earth. Its television camera broke during the first few minutes on the Moon, after direct exposure to the Sun's intense radiation.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA