The third stage of the Saturn V launch vehicle fires for the first time to insert Apollo 14 in an earth parking orbit.
The third stage of the Saturn V launch vehicle fires for the first time to insert Apollo 14 in an earth parking orbit. About 2 hours and 20 minutes later the third stage engine fires its second and last time to inject the spacecraft on a flight path to the moon.
Twenty-five minutes later, the Command and Service Modules, using Reaction Control System thrusters, pull away from the third stage and the adapter that had protected the Lunar Module during launch. The adapter panels open and it is jettisoned. An on-board camera shows how the adapter falls away.
The Command and Service Modules turn around and prepare to move back in for docking with the Lunar Module. The turnaround manoeuvre is called "transposition."
The docking manoeuvre has also been recorded by an on-board camera from an earlier Apollo mission. It takes about 45 minutes as the Command and Service Modules ease their way in The purpose of transposition and docking, of course, is to realign the three-module spacecraft so that the Service Module's main engine can be in the clear for midcourse corrections, Lunar Orbit Insertion, and other propulsion needs.
After they have docked, the crew will make sure that all docking latches are solidly engaged and they will connect the umbilicals between the Lunar Module and the Command and Service Modules. The Lunar Module will be pressurized with oxygen from the Command Module surge tank.
The three-module spacecraft will then be spring-ejected from the third stage launch vehicle.
The third stage will be remotely commanded to fire its auxiliary propulsion system to perform an evasive manoeuvre away from the spacecraft.
It will then dump its liquid oxygen by ground command and will be propelled on a collision course to crash into the moon - where Apollo 12's seismometer will detect and report the impact to earth.