On the morning of 26 July at Cape Kennedy, the Apollo astronauts will blast of an the longest and most difficult of manned moon flights.
GV Capo Kennedy at dawn
GV Pan control room
CU Television monitors
SV Man at control panel
LV Rocket on pad
SV TILT DOWN rocket
GV Astronauts and technicians out of building into van
SV Guards and Pan to van away and people out of building
GTV Van arriving at launch pad
STV Astronauts out of van
GV Top of rocket and gantry
GV TILT UP astronauts in lift along side rocket
SV Astronauts out of lift toward rocket
SV Pan astronaut to rocket along gantry way
GV Pan control room
LV Rocket on launch pad
Initials OS/2146 OS/2210
N.B. TOGETHER WITH THIS COVERAGE OF APOLLO 15 COUNTDOWN REHEARSAL, VISNEWS REFERS YOU TO PREVIOUS PRODUCTION NUMBERS DEALING WITH THE APOLLO 15 MISSION AND ITS ASTRONAUTS. THESE INCLUDE: 6896/71 -- APOLLO FIFTEEN ASTRONAUTS PREPARE FOR MISSION, ISSUED 18/6/71; 7075/71 -- APOLLO FIFTEEN LUNAR MODULE PILOTS IN TRAINING FOR MISSION, ISSUED 24/6/71; 7076/71 -- WORDEN TRAINS FOR MISSION, ISSUED 24/6/71; 7079/71 -- SIMULATION OF APOLLO FIFTEEN MOON LANDING, ISSUED 25/6/71; 7493/71 -- ASTRONAUTS AND LUNAR ROVER IN TRAINING SESSION FOR APOLLO FIFTEEN, ISSUED 3/7/71.
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Background: On the morning of 26 July at Cape Kennedy, the Apollo astronauts will blast of an the longest and most difficult of manned moon flights. There will be a number of "firsts" on this mission, most spectacular of which will be the use of the lunar rover vehicle to traverse the region near the moon landing site.
The three astronauts -- expedition commander David Scott, command module pilot Alfred Worden, and lunar module pilot James Irwin -- were due to undergo their final physical examination on Wednesday (21 July). Final preparations on the powerful Saturn-five rocket have already begun. The rocket will lift the heaviest payload ever into earth orbit -- over 140 tens. The complete Apollo spacecraft -- including command, service, and lumar modules -- will weigh over 48 tons when it reaches the moon. This is the heaviest man-made object yet to reach Earth's nearest neighbour.
The moon landing is scheduled for 30 July on a smooth plain between the moon's Appennine Mountains, towering nearly 10,000 feet above the landing sits, and a lunar ravine know as Hadley Rille. The area is unlike any other yet explored in the Apollo series.
Astronauts Scott and Irwin plan three separate excursions out on the lunar surface, and their total time on the moon of 67 hours is more than double that of any other mission. Their travels in the electrically powered lunar rover can be seen on Earth, by means of a colour television camera mounted on the vehicle. The same camera will be left on the moon to televise the astronauts' departure. Other experiments and activities planned Include the drilling of a hole in the lunar surface to measure heat radiation, installation of a moon-quake detection device, and extensive photography and gathering of rock samples in the area of the ravine.
Before they leave lunar orbit for the trip home, the astronauts will inject a small satellite which will orbit the moon for one year, collecting information with three scientific instruments. For the first time on an Apollo flight back to earth, astronaut Worden will take a "space walk" to retrieve a packet of film mounted on the service module.
There are only two more lunar exploration flights planned following Apollo 15.
SYNOPSIS: The Kennedy Space Centre on the east coast of Florida.
Hundreds of scientists, engineers and technicians man a myriad of dials and switches on their control panels, as each of their computers spew forth needed information on television monitors. All of this and more designed to ensure a successful mission -- for Apollo Fifteen.
Final preparations for the powerful Saturn-Five rocket are underway for the target launch date on Monday, July twenty-sixth -- the start of the longest and most difficult of the moon missions in the Apollo series.
Early on morning of the launch date, the three astronauts -- expedition commander David Scott, command module pilot Alfred Worden, and lunar module pilot James Irwin -- will dress in their complicated spacesuits and enter a special van for the ride to the waiting rocket. Apollo Fifteen will carry the first Lunar Rover, an electrically powered vehicle which astronauts Scott and Irwin will use to survey the area around the landing site. They plan to stay on the moon for a record sixty-seven hours -- including thee separate ventures out on the lunar surface. A television camera mounted on the vehicle will relay live pictures of their exploits back to earth.
Before the moon landing is a reality on July thirtieth, everything must work perfectly at the launch pad. The astronauts, accompanied by technicians, will be led carefully into a lift that will carry them up to the space capsule. If anything were to go wrong at this stage, the astronauts could be brought back down quickly. The astronauts have trained long and hard for this mission -- on which will find them landing near a previously unexplored ravine called Hadley Rille, and a tall range of mountains.
There has been some concern for the safety of the astronauts on this mission, following the death of three Soviet cosmonauts in the tragedy of Soyuz-Eleven. U.S. space officials have taken extra precautions, after a last minute safety review. For the first time, a colour camera will be left on the moon to enable the astronauts' departure to be televised back to earth. None of these men is likely to breathe easy until those pictures and the ones of splash-down are relayed back to the control centre.