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Apollo 14
Mission insignia
Apollo 14-insignia.png
Mission statistics[1]
Mission name Apollo 14
Command Module CM-110
callsign Kitty Hawk
mass 29,240 kg
Service Module SM-110
Lunar Module LM-8
callsign Antares
mass 15,264 kg
Crew size 3
Booster Saturn V SA-509
Launch pad LC 39A
Kennedy Space Center
Florida, USA
Launch date January 31, 1971
21:03:02 UTC
Lunar landing February 5, 1971   09:18:11 UTC
Fra Mauro
3°38′43.08″S 17°28′16.90″W / 3.6453°S 17.471361°W / -3.6453; -17.471361
(based on the IAU
Mean Earth Polar Axis coordinate system)
Lunar EVA duration First 04:47:50
Second   04:34:41
Total 09:22:31
Lunar surface time 1 d 09 h 30 m 29 s
Lunar sample mass 42.28 kg (93.21 lb)
Total CSM time in lunar orbit 2 d 18 h 35 m 39 s
Landing February 9, 1971
21:05:00 UTC
27°1′S 172°39′W / 27.017°S 172.65°W / -27.017; -172.65
Mission duration 9 d 00 h 01 m 58 s
Crew photo
Apollo 14 crew.jpg
Left to right: Roosa, Shepard, Mitchell
Related missions
Previous mission Next mission
Apollo 13-insignia.png Apollo 13 Apollo 15-insignia.png Apollo 15

Apollo 14 was the eighth manned mission in the Apollo program and the third mission to land on the Moon. The nine-day mission was launched on January 31, 1971, with lunar touch down on February 5. The Lunar Module landed in the Fra Mauro formation; this had originally been the target of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. During the two lunar EVA's over 100 pounds of moon rocks were collected and several surface experiments, including seismic studies, were carried out. Commander Alan Shepard famously hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a make-shift club he had brought from Earth. Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa took several hundred seeds on the mission, many of which were germinated on return resulting in the so called Moon trees.

Contents

Crew

Position Astronaut
Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr
Second spaceflight
Command Module Pilot Stuart A. Roosa
First spaceflight
Lunar Module Pilot Edgar D. Mitchell
First spaceflight

The crew got some good-natured razzing in the astronaut office as the first "all-rookie" Apollo crew (Shepard's 1961 flight on Freedom 7 was a suborbital flight).

Shepard was the oldest U.S. astronaut when he made his trip aboard Apollo 14.[2] He is the only astronaut from Project Mercury (the original Mercury Seven astronauts) to reach the Moon. Another of the original seven, Gordon Cooper, had originally been scheduled to command the mission, but according to Chaikin, his casual attitude toward training, along with problems with NASA hierarchy (reaching all the way back to the Mercury-Atlas 9 flight) resulted in his removal.

The mission was a personal triumph for Shepard, who had battled back from Ménière’s disease which grounded him from 1964 to 1968. He and his crew were originally scheduled to fly on Apollo 13, but in 1969 NASA Administrators switched the scheduled crews for Apollo 13 and 14. This was done to place the more experienced Apollo 8 veteran James Lovell in command of what would have been the first lunar landing mission if both Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 had failed to successfully land.

As of 2009, Mitchell is the only surviving member of the crew; Roosa died in 1994 from pancreatitis and Shepard in 1998 from leukemia.

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Backup crew

Position Astronaut
Commander Eugene A. Cernan
Command Module Pilot Ronald E. Evans, Jr
Lunar Module Pilot Joseph H. Engle

James McDivitt, the commander of Apollo 9, who would have been either the prime crew Lunar Module Pilot or the backup crew commander, was unwilling to take a secondary role in the mission.

Support crew

Flight directors

Mission parameters

Apollo 14 landing site, photograph by LRO

LM - CSM docking

  • Undocked: February 5, 1971 - 04:50:43 UTC
  • Docked: February 6, 1971 - 20:35:42 UTC

EVAs

EVA 1 start: February 5, 1971, 14:42:13 UTC

  • Shepard - EVA 1
  • Stepped onto moon: 14:54 UTC
  • LM ingress: 19:22 UTC
  • Mitchell - EVA 1
  • Stepped onto moon: 14:58 UTC
  • LM ingress: 19:18 UTC
  • EVA 1 end: February 5, 19:30:50 UTC
    • Duration: 4 hours, 47 minutes, 50 seconds

EVA 2 start: February 6, 1971, 08:11:15 UTC

  • Shepard - EVA 2
  • Stepped onto moon: 08:16 UTC
  • LM ingress: 12:38 UTC
  • Mitchell - EVA 2
  • Stepped onto moon: 08:23 UTC
  • LM ingress: 12:28 UTC
  • EVA 2 end: February 6, 12:45:56 UTC
    • Duration: 4 hours, 34 minutes, 41 seconds

Mission highlights

Transfer and descent

Apollo 14 LM is placed in LM Adapter. (NASA)
Launch of Apollo 14
Alan Shepard on lunar surface. (NASA)
Panoramic Assembly of Fra Mauro - Apollo 14 Landing Site (Moonpans)
This TV image shows Alan Shepard golfing on the Moon
Depiction of the plaque left on the moon by Apollo 14
Command Module Kitty Hawk on display at the Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center.

At the beginning of the mission, the CSM Kitty Hawk had difficulty achieving capture and docking with the LM Antares. Repeated attempts to dock went on for 1 hour and 42 minutes, until it was suggested that pilot Roosa hold Kitty Hawk against Antares using its thrusters, then the docking probe would be retracted out of the way, hopefully triggering the docking latches. This attempt was successful, and no further docking problems were encountered during the mission.

After separating from the command module in lunar orbit, the LM Antares also had two serious problems. First, the LM computer began getting an ABORT signal from a faulty switch. NASA believed that the computer might be getting erroneous readings like this if a tiny ball of soldering material had shaken loose and was floating between the switch and the contact, closing the circuit. The immediate solution—tapping on the panel next to the switch—did work briefly, but the circuit soon closed again. If the problem recurred after the descent engine fired, the computer would think the signal was real and would initiate an auto-abort, causing the Ascent Stage to separate from the Descent Stage and climb back into orbit. NASA and the software teams at MIT scrambled to find a solution, and determined the fix would involve reprogramming the flight software to ignore the false signal. The software modifications were transmitted to the crew via voice communication, and Mitchell manually entered the changes (amounting to over 80 keystrokes on the LM computer pad) just in time.

A second problem occurred during the powered descent, when the LM radar altimeter failed to lock automatically onto the moon's surface, depriving the navigation computer of vital information on the vehicle altitude and groundspeed. This was later determined to be an unintended consequence of the software patch. After the astronauts cycled the landing radar breaker, the unit successfully acquired a signal near 50,000 feet (15,000 m), again just in the nick of time. Shepard then manually landed the LM closer to its intended target than any of the other six moon landing missions. Mitchell believes that Shepard would have continued with the landing attempt without the radar, using the LM inertial guidance system and visual cues. But a post-flight review of the descent data showed the inertial system alone would have been inadequate, and the astronauts probably would have been forced to abort the landing as they approached the surface.

EVAs

Shepard and Mitchell named their landing site Fra Mauro Base, and this designation is recognized by the International Astronomical Union (depicted in Latin on lunar maps as Statio Fra Mauro).

Shepard's first words, after taking his first step onto the lunar surface, were "And it's been a long way, but we're here." Unlike Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Apollo 12's Pete Conrad, Shepard had already gotten off the ladder and was a few meters from the LM before he spoke.

Shepard's moonwalking suit was the first to utilise red bands on the arms and legs and a red stripe on the top of the lunar EVA sunshade "hood", so as to allow easy identification of the commander while on the surface; on the Apollo 12 pictures, it had been almost impossible to distinguish between the two crewmen, causing a great deal of confusion. This feature was included on Jim Lovell's Apollo 13 suit, but because of the accident on that mission, it was not used. It was used on the remaining three Apollo flights and is used on both the U.S. and Russian spacesuits on both the Space Shuttle and International Space Station.

After landing in the Fra Mauro formation - the destination for Apollo 13 - Shepard and Mitchell took two moon walks, adding new seismic studies to the by now familiar Apollo experiment package, and using the Modularized Equipment Transporter (MET), a pull cart for carrying equipment and samples, referred to as a "lunar rickshaw". Roosa, meanwhile, took pictures from on board command module Kitty Hawk in lunar orbit.

The second moonwalk, or EVA, was intended to reach the rim of the 1,000 foot (300 m) wide Cone Crater. However, the two astronauts were not able to find the rim amid the rolling terrain of the crater's slopes. Later analysis, using the pictures that they took, determined that they had come within an estimated 65 feet (20 m) of the crater's rim. Images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show the tracks of the astronauts and the MET come to within 30 m of the rim.[3]

Shepard and Mitchell deployed and activated various scientific instruments and experiments and collected almost 100 pounds (45 kg) of lunar samples for return to earth. Other Apollo 14 achievements included: the only use of MET; longest distance traversed by foot on the lunar surface; first use of shortened lunar orbit rendezvous techniques; first use of color TV with new vidicon tube on lunar surface and the first extensive orbital science period conducted during CSM solo operations.

The astronauts also engaged in less serious activities. Shepard brought a makeshift six iron golf club and two golf balls to the Moon, and took several swings (one-handed, due to the limited flexibility of the EVA suit). He exuberantly, and somewhat whimsically, exclaimed that the second ball went "miles and miles and miles" in the lunar gravity, but later estimated it actually went 200 to 400 yards (180 to 370 m). Mitchell then used a lunar scoop handle as a javelin, creating the first 'Lunar Olympics'. Before the flight, backup crew members Cernan, Evans and Engle played a joke on the astronauts by stashing their own crew patches in every single locker and compartment in the spacecraft. Whenever one of the patches would float out of a locker during the mission, Shepard would say "Tell Cernan, BEEP-BEEP my ass!"

Return

On the way back to Earth, the crew conducted the first U.S. materials processing experiments in space. The Apollo 14 astronauts were the last lunar explorers to be quarantined on their return from the Moon.

Roosa, who worked in forestry in his youth, took several hundred tree seeds on the flight. These were germinated after the return to Earth, and widely distributed around the world as commemorative Moon Trees.

Mission insignia

Later photo of landing site taken by LRO
Robbins Medallion flown on Apollo 14

The oval insignia shows a gold NASA Astronaut Pin, given to U.S. astronauts upon completing their first space flight, traveling from the Earth to the Moon. A gold band around the edge includes the mission and astronaut names. The designer was Jean Beaulieu.

The backup crew spoofed the patch with its own version, with revised artwork showing the Road Runner cartoon character on the moon, holding a U.S. flag and a flag labeled "1st Team," as a gray-bearded (for Shepard, who was 47 at the time of the mission and the oldest man on the Moon), pot bellied (for Mitchell, who had a pudgy appearance), red furred (for Roosa's red hair) Wile E. Coyote flies in place of the astronaut pin. The flight name is replaced by "BEEP BEEP" and the backup crew's names are given. Several were left as "gotchas" on the Kitty Hawk.

Spacecraft location

The Apollo 14 Command Module Kitty Hawk is on display at the Saturn V Center building at KSC after being on display at the Astronaut Hall of Fame, Titusville, Florida for several years.

The ascent stage of Lunar Module Antares impacted the Moon 7 February 1971 at 00:45:25.7 UT (6 February, 7:45 PM EST) 3.42° S, 19.67 W. Antares' descent stage and the mission's other equipment remain at Fra Mauro at 3.65° S, 17.47° W; they are, by far, the most visible Apollo hardware in the photographs from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter released on 17 July 2009, owing to particularly good lighting conditions when the images were captured.

Ap14 flag.ogg
Shepard and Mitchell erect flag on lunar surface

Depiction in popular culture

Portions of the Apollo 14 mission are dramatized in the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon episode entitled "For Miles and Miles".

A few months before the first Moon landing, a fictional Apollo 14 lunar orbit mission was portrayed in the 24 March 1969 I Dream of Jeannie TV series episode entitled "Around the Moon in 80 Blinks".

See also

Notes

References

External links


Simple English

Apollo 14
Mission statistics[1]
Mission name Apollo 14
Command Module CM-110
callsign Kitty Hawk
mass 29,240 kg
Service Module SM-110
Lunar Module LM-8
callsign Antares
mass 15,264 kg
Crew size 3
Booster Saturn V SA-509
Launch pad LC 39A
Kennedy Space Center
Florida, USA
Launch date January 31, 1971
21:03:02 UTC
Lunar landing
February 5, 1971   09:18:11 UTC
Fra Mauro
3°38′43.08″S 17°28′16.90″W / 3.6453°S 17.471361°W / -3.6453; -17.471361
(based on the IAU
Mean Earth Polar Axis coordinate system)
Lunar EVA duration First 04:47:50
Second   04:34:41
Total 09:22:31
Lunar surface time 1 d 09 h 30 m 29 s
Lunar sample mass 42.28 kg (93.21 lb)
Time in lunar orbit 2 d 18 h 35 m 39 s
Landing February 9, 1971
21:05:00 UTC
27°1′S 172°39′W / 27.017°S 172.65°W / -27.017; -172.65
Mission duration 9 d 00 h 01 m 58 s
Crew photo
File:Apollo 14
Left to right: Roosa, Shepard, Mitchell
Related missions
Previous mission Next mission
Apollo 13 Apollo 15

Apollo 14 was the eighth manned mission in the Apollo program. It was the third mission to land on the Moon. The nine-day mission left the Earth on January 31, 1971, and landed on the Moon on February 5. The Lunar Module landed in the Fra Mauro formation; this had been the target of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. During the two walks on the Moon's surface, 93.2 lb (42 kg) of moon rock was collected. Several experiments, including seismic studies, were carried out. Commander Alan Shepard famously hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a make-shift club he had brought from Earth. Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa took several hundred seeds on the mission, many of which were planted on return, resulting in the so called Moon trees.[2] The pilot of the Lunar Module was Dr. Edgar Mitchell.

LRO finds the site

In June 2009, the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was able to photograph the Apollo 14 landing site. The base of the lunar module and the astronauts footprints on the Moon's suface could be clearly seen.[3]

References



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