<<The Apollo 12 mission landed on an area of the Ocean of Storms that had been visited earlier by several unmanned missions (Luna 5, Surveyor 3, and Ranger 7). The International Astronomical Union, recognizing this, christened this region Mare Cognitum (Known Sea). The landing site would thereafter be listed as Statio Cognitum on lunar maps (Conrad and Bean did not formally name their landing site, interestingly enough, though the intended touchdown point was nicknamed Pete's Parking Lot by Conrad).
The second lunar landing was an exercise in precision targeting, using a Doppler Effect radar technique developed to allow the pinpoint landings needed for future Apollo missions. Most of the descent was automatic, with manual control assumed by Conrad during the final few hundred feet of descent. Unlike Apollo 11 where Neil Armstrong took partial control of the lander and directed it further down range when he noticed that the intended landing site was strewn with boulders, Apollo 12 succeeded, on November 19, in landing within walking distance (less than 200 meters) of its intended target - the Surveyor 3 probe, which had landed on the Moon in April 1967.
Conrad actually landed Intrepid 580 feet (180 m) short of Pete's Parking Lot because the planned landing point looked rougher than anticipated during the final approach to touchdown. The planned landing point was a little under 1,180 feet (360 m) from Surveyor 3, a distance that was chosen to eliminate the possibility of lunar dust (being kicked up by Intrepid's descent engine during landing) from covering Surveyor 3. But the actual touchdown point — 600 feet (180 m) from Surveyor 3 — did cause a thin film of dust to coat the probe, giving it a light tan hue.
To improve the quality of television pictures from the Moon, a color camera was carried on Apollo 12 (unlike the monochrome camera that was used on Apollo 11). Unfortunately, when Bean carried the camera to the place near the lunar module where it was to be set up, he inadvertently pointed it directly into the Sun, destroying the vidicon tube. Television coverage of this mission was thus terminated almost immediately.>>
* Alan Bean smuggled a camera-shutter self-timer device on to the mission with the intent of taking a photograph with himself, Pete Conrad and the Surveyor 3 probe in the frame. As the timer was not part of their standard equipment, such an image would have thrown post-mission photo analysts into confusion over how the photo was taken. However, the self-timer was misplaced during the EVA and the plan was never executed.
* The Apollo 12 backup crew managed to insert into the astronaut's lunar checklist (attached to the wrists of Conrad's and Bean's spacesuits) reduced sized pictures of Playboy centerfolds, surprising Conrad and Bean when they looked through the checklist flip-book during their first EVA.
Centerfold in lunar checklist (for historical purposes only).
The Lunar Surface Journal website contains a PDF with the photocopies of their cuff checklists showing these photos. The checklists also contain two pages of pre-prepared complex geological terminology at the back, to be used for the confusion of the ground crew.
their first EVA.
aristarchusinexile wrote:neufer wrote: their first EVA.
Yeah, well no matter how good looking
Eva was trouble for Adam, and things ain't changed since the garden.
http://www.universetoday.com/88692/nasa ... more-88692 wrote:
NASA Releases Closer Looks at Apollo Landing Sites from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
by Nancy Atkinson on September 6, 2011
<<This is the third resolution of Apollo sites that the LRO team has released — the first came from LRO’s commissioning phase where the altitude was about 100 km and the resolution was about 1 meter per pixel; next came the release of images from an altitude of about 50 km, with a resolutaion of about 50 cm per pixle; and now from about 21-22 km altitude with a resolution of 25 cm per pixel.
“These are the sharpest images of Apollo landing sites we’ll probably ever get with LRO,” said Rich Vondrak, LRO project scientist, ” as we’ll never go as low in altitude as we were in the past month.”
Since we can still see the tracks and equipment looking unchanged (at least from this vantage point) one reporter asked if these items will be on the Moon forever. “Forever is a long time, so no, they won’t be there forever,” Robinson replied. “The Moon is constantly bombarded by micrometeorites, and slowly over time the tracks will disappear, then the smaller pieces of equipment will disappear, and eventually the decent stages will probably get blasted by an a larger asteroid. The estimate is that rocks erode 1 mm per million years. In human terms it may seems like forever, but geologic terms, there will be no traces of Apollo exploration in 10 to 100 million years.”>>
neufer wrote:NASA Releases Closer Looks at Apollo Landing Sites from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Universe Today by Nancy Atkinson on September 6, 2011
Users browsing this forum: 360 Spider, Bing [Bot], CommonCrawl [Bot], Google Feedfetcher, Google Mobile [Bot], MSN News [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 11 guests