Apollo 15 Lunar Module and Rover
Science & Technology

50 Years Ago: Apollo 15 Put Our First Wheels on the Moon – “Never Been on a Ride Like This Before”

Apollo 15 lunar module pilot Jim Irwin loaded the lunar rover with instruments and tools in preparation for the first lunar spacewalk at the Hadley-Apennine touchdown website. The Lunar Module ‘Falcon’ seems on the left on this picture. The undeployed Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector lies atop Falcon’s Modular Tools Stowage Meeting. Apollo 15 launched on July 26, 1971, from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy House Heart. Credit score: NASA

Our first wheels on the Moon. On the Apollo 15 mission, the Lunar Roving Car allowed the astronauts to cowl a a lot better distance on the Moon than the earlier three flights had achieved. This 12 months marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 15 mission. On July 26, 1971, David R. Scott (Commander), James B. Irwin (Lunar Module Pilot) and Alfred M. Worden (Command Module Pilot) launched from Kennedy House Heart’s Launch Complicated 39A.

Apollo 15 set a number of new data for crewed spaceflight: heaviest payload in a lunar orbit of roughly 107,000 kilos, most radial distance traveled on the lunar floor away from the spacecraft of about 17.5 miles, most lunar floor moonwalks (three) and longest whole of period for lunar floor moonwalk (18 hours, 37 minutes), longest time in lunar orbit (about 145 hours), longest crewed lunar mission (295 hours), longest Apollo mission, the first satellite tv for pc positioned in lunar orbit by a crewed spacecraft, and first deep house and operational spacewalk.

Video Transcript:

[Man] Steerage, inside.

Ignition sequence begin.
Engines on.

(orchestral music)

Apollo 15 was launched 50 years in the past on July the twenty sixth, 1971.

It was a comparatively huge step from the earlier three missions. As President Nixon acknowledged, it could be the most bold scientific exploration in house at the moment.

The three astronauts have been Commander David Scott, Command Module Pilot, Al Worden, and Lunar Module Pilot, Jim Irwin.

The Lunar Rover was an electrically pushed, bare-bones automobile to permit the astronauts to cowl a lot better distance on the moon than the earlier three flights may accomplish.

[Man 2] This is de facto a rock and roll trip, isn’t it?

By no means been on a trip like this earlier than.

Boy, oh boy.

[John] It had a prime velocity of about eight miles an hour, though I believe in later flights, they really cranked that as much as about 11 miles an hour.

Scott and Irwin spent three days exploring the Apennine Hadley area in the Lunar Rover.

There’s really a plaque on the Lunar Rover automobile that was left on the moon that claims “Man’s first wheels on the moon.”

The heavy focus on science for Apollo 15 was its main function. It was achieved two methods. One, in fact, with the Lunar Rover automobile on the moon to assemble extra lunar information. And secondly, the command service module carried a SIM bay of scientific devices that allowed Al Worden to assemble many images and far information as he circled the moon for his three days in orbit.

One in every of the fascinating experiments that Scott carried out on the moon was to exhibit Galileo’s principle that two objects will all the time drop at the similar price in an airless atmosphere.

[Man 2] Properly I’ll drop it.
And I’ll drop the two of them right here and hopefully they’ll hit the floor at the similar time.
How about that?

[John] Scott and Irwin, whereas they have been doing their lunar rock research on the moon, got here throughout a single rock that was decided to be over 4 billion years outdated. It was referred to as the Genesis Rock.

Scott and Irwin spent over 18 hours on the moon, the longest time of any of the Apollo missions at the moment. And so they gathered 170 kilos of lunar materials to convey again. In addition they set out the Apollo lunar experiments package deal.

In a personal second, Commander David Scott made a small aluminum statue of an astronaut on the moon to memorialize the 14 astronauts that died in the U.S. and Soviet applications.

The Lunar Rover had a TV digital camera on it, and for the first time we have been privileged to see the asset stage take off from the moon.

After Scott and Irwin have been again in the command module, they continued to orbit the moon for 2 days, and through that point deployed the Particles and Fields satellite tv for pc.

Throughout the flight again to earth, considered one of the most vital duties required of the crew was for Al Worden to EVA from the command module and to seize the cassettes that recorded all the information that he’d gathered throughout his orbits with the moon.

That was the first time at 197,000 miles from the earth that man has ever carried out a deep house EVA.

(orchestral music)

Throughout re-entry the burning response management system gasoline burned by way of the risers of considered one of the shoots, and that shoot streamed and successfully turned about one fifth of its regular capability.

Apollo 15 landed on two chutes. It was designed to try this, but it surely did imply a onerous touchdown, however a secure touchdown.

Apollo 15 broke a number of data. The primary use of the Lunar Rover, the first deep spacewalk by Al Worden, the heaviest payload in lunar orbit it as 107,000 kilos, and the longest crewed lunar mission of 295 hours.

Apollo 15 achieved all of its targets and gathered a wealth of scientific info.

(orchestral music)

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