Picture of Apollo 12 lunar module
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.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
The Surveyor missions of 1966 through 1968 were the next step in space travel to the Moon, following the Ranger missions. Their goal was to perform "soft" landings on the lunar surface, meaning that the...more
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was one of the most important exploration tools of the past two decades, and will continue to serve as a great resource well into the new millennium. The HST found numerous...more
Driven by a recent surge in space research, the Apollo program hoped to add to the accomplishments of the Lunar Orbiter and Surveyor missions of the late 1960's. Apollo 11 was the name of the first mission...more
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...more
Apollo 15 marked the start of a new series of missions from the Apollo space program, each capable of exploring more lunar terrain than ever before. Launched on July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 reached the Moon...more
NASA chose Deep Impact to be part of a special series called the Discovery Program on July 7, 1999. The Discovery program specializes in low-cost, scientific projects. In May 2001, Deep Impact was given...more
The Galileo spacecraft was launched on October 19, 1989. Galileo had two parts: an orbiter and a descent probe that parachuted into Jupiter's atmosphere. Galileo's main mission was to explore Jupiter and...more