• Short Summary

    MAN'S ULTIMATE, SAFE EXPLORATION OF THE UNIVERSE MOVED ONE STEP CLOSER TO REALITY IN LATE NOVEMBER WITH THE SUCCESS OF THE UNITED STATES APOLLO 12 MOON MISSION.

  • Description

    MAN'S ULTIMATE, SAFE EXPLORATION OF THE UNIVERSE MOVED ONE STEP CLOSER TO REALITY IN LATE NOVEMBER WITH THE SUCCESS OF THE UNITED STATES APOLLO 12 MOON MISSION. DURING THIS 10-DAY MISSION TO THE MOON, ASTRONAUTS CHARLES CONRAD AND ALAN BEAN, LEFT THEIR LUNAR MODULE AND CONDUCTED A LENGTHY EXPLORATION AND SCIENTIFIC SURVEY.

    IT WAS CONRAD WHO COMMENTED BEFORE THE MISSION THAT APOLLO 11 PROVED MAN COULD LAND ON THE MOON AND RETURN TO EARTH. APOLLO 12, HE SAID, WOULD START DETAILED GEOLOGICAL EXPLORATION OF THE LUNAR SURFACE.

    WHILE CONRAD AND BEAN EXPLORED THE LUNAR SURFACE AND CONDUCTED A SERIES OF SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS, COMMAND CRAFT PILOT, RICHARD GORDON ORBITED THE 4.6 BILLION-YEAR-OLD PLANET.

    NONE OF THE CREW-MEMBERS ARE SCIENTISTS, BUT AN EXTREMELY WELL-TRAINED AND PROFESSIONAL TEAM. INSTEAD THE RESULTS OF THE PROBE OF THE LUNAR SURFACE WILL BE EVALUATED BY SCIENTISTS ON EARTH.

    THE EXCITEMENT STARTED ONLY SECONDS AFTER APOLLO 12, ATOP THE HUGE SATURN 5 ROCKET BLASTED OFF FROM LAUNCH COMPLEX 39A AT CAPE KENNEDY. GROUND OBSERVERS REPORTED SEEING LIGHTING FLASHES AROUND THE 445-FOOT (135 METRES) TALL LAUNCH GANTRY. ALMOST AT THE SAME TIME, CONRAD REPORTED THAT YANKEE CLIPPER'S PRIMARY ELECTRICAL SYSTEM HAD SHUTDOWN. ONE MAIN THEORY ABOUT THE POWER DISRUPTION IS THAT IT COULD HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY AN ELECTRICAL DISCHARGE.

    THE POWER FAILURE LASTED ABOUT 12 SECONDS. AFTER THE SATURN ROCKET BOOSTED APOLLO 12 INTO A TEMPORARY ORBIT 118 MILES (190 KMS) ABOVE EARTH THE THREE ASTRONAUTS CONDUCTED A THOROUGH CHECK OF THEIR CONTROLS AND FOUND THEM OPERABLE, FOR THE MISSION TO CONTINUE.

    MISSION CONTROL GAVE THE GO-AHEAD AND THE APOLLO 12 MISSION SET COURSE FOR THE MOON, 230,000 (429,000 KMS) MILES AWAY.

    WHEN THEY WERE MORE THAN 134,000 (200,000 KMS.) MILES OUT THE TIME CAME FOR 8.8 SECOND FIRING OF THE SPACE CRAFT'S MAIN ENGINE TO SET IT ON AN ACCURATE COURSE FOR THE LANDING SITE IN THE OCEAN OF STORMS.

    AT THE COUNTDOWN, THE 20,500-POUND THRUST MAIN ENGINE FIRED PROMPTLY AND SET YANKEE CLIPPER, COUPLED WITH THE LUNAR ENTRY MODULE INTREPID, FOR A COURSE WHICH WOULD TAKE IT WITHIN 64 NAUTICAL MILES (118 KM) OF THE MOON AT ITS CLOSEST POINT.

    AFTER THE FIRING THEY SHOWED TELEVISION VIEWERS ON EARTH PICTURES OF A SPACE "SNOWSTORM" AROUND THEIR CRAFT -- CAUSED BY EXPULSION OF WASTE FROM THE CAPSULE A SHORT TIME BEFORE THE ENGINE FIRING.

    ON TUESDAY NOVEMBER 18, THE ASTRONAUTS TELECAST EXCEPTIONALLY CLEAR COLOUR TELEVISION PICTURES OF THE MOON'S SURFACE.

    THE FOLLOWING MORNING, CONRAD AND BEAN BROKE AWAY IN INTREPID FROM THE COMMAND MODULE, AND HEADED FOR TOUCHDOWN IN THE OCEAN OF STORMS.

    THE ASTRONAUTS GUIDED THEIR CRAFT TO A PERFECT LANDING JUST 20 FEET (6.1 METRES) FROM THE TARGET CRATER. JUST 600 FEET AWAY -- INSIDE THE CRATER -- WAS THE SURVEYOR THREE SPACECRAFT, PIECES OF WHICH THEY WERE TO CARRY BACK TO EARTH. THE UNMANNED SURVEYOR SPACECRAFT LANDED ON THE MOON TWO YEARS AGO.

    COMMANDER CONRAD STEPPED ONTO THE MOON'S SURFACE EARLY ON WEDNESDAY MORNING (HOUSTON TIME). AS HE CLIMBED DOWN HE TURNED ON A STATIC TELEVISION CAMERA MOUNTED ON A LANDING STRUT TO GIVE EARTH VIEWERS THEIR FIRST LIVE COLOUR TELEVISION PICTURES OF THE LUNAR SURFACE.

    HE THEN WALKED A SHORT DISTANCE FROM INTREPID TO INSPECT THE SURROUNDING AREA AND CHUCKLED WITH PLEASURE WHEN HE REPORTED TO HOUSTON GROUND CONTROL THAT THE SURVEYOR SPACECRAFT WAS ONLY 600 FEET (183 METRES) AWAY.

    AS ALAN BEAN WAS PREPARING TO DESCENT THE LADDER, CONRAD BEGAN COLLECTING ROCK SAMPLES. HE ATTACHED HIS CANVAS BAG TO A CABLE, GUIDING IT AS BEAN PULLED THE BAG INTO THE SPACECRAFT.

    THIS WAS THE LAST CLEAR PICTURE TO BE SEEN ON EARTH. AS BEAN MOVED THE CAMERA THE LENS FOCUSED TEMPORARILY ON THE SUN. THE INTENSE LIGHT DAMAGED THE CAMERA TUBE.

    AT 9.23 A.M. (HOUSTON TIME) ON THURSDAY NOVEMBER 20, INTREPID BLASTED OFF FROM THE LUNAR SURFACE FOR THE RENDEZVOUS AND DOCKING WITH YANKEE CLIPPER, 69 MILES ABOVE. CONRAD AND BEAN HAD BEEN ON THE LUNAR SURFACE FOR 32 HOURS....TEN HOURS MORE THAN APOLLO 11.

    THREE AND A HALF HOURS ALTER THE LUNAR MODULE WAS ONLY A MILE (1.5 KMS) AWAY FROM THE COMMAND MODULE. TWENTY MINUTES LATER THE TWO CRAFT REDOCKED. CONRAD AND BEAN REJOINED COMMANDER GORDON, INTREPID WAS JETTISONED BACK TO THE LUNAR SURFACE AND YANKEE CLIPPER HEADED FOR HOME.

    ON MONDAY NOVEMBER 24, APOLLO 12 SPLASHED DOWN TO A PINPOINT LANDING IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN 104 (644 KMS.) MILES SOUTHEAST OF PAGO PAGO, AMERICAN SAMOA, AND 2,561 MILES (3,317 KMS.) SOUTHEAST OF HAWAII.

    THE CHARRED AND PEELING SPACECRAFT, WITH ITS TREASURE OF LUNAR ROCK AND SOIL SAMPLES, WAS HAULED ON BOARD THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USSR HORNET. IN A DIRECT TELEPHONE CALL FROM THE WHITE HOUSE TO THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER, PRESIDENT NIXON PROMOTED ALL THREE MEN TO THE RANK OF CAPTAIN.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAB14UX1CK7ADBANDHS85DJOM39
    Media URN:
    VLVAB14UX1CK7ADBANDHS85DJOM39
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    02/12/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:16:13:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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