Launch from Cape Canaveral (KSC
landing 735 km southeast of Pogo-Pogo- slands in the Pacific Ocean.
Thirty-six-and-a-half seconds after lift-off, the vehicle triggered a
lightning discharge through itself and down to the earth through the Saturn's
ionized plume. Protective circuits on the fuel cells in the service module
falsely detected overloads and took all three fuel cells offline, along with
much of the
instrumentation. A second strike at 52 seconds
after launch knocked out the "8-ball" attitude indicator. The telemetry stream
at Mission Control was garbled. However, the Saturn V continued to fly
correctly; the strikes had not affected the Saturn V's Instrument
This mission marked the second manned lunar landing
landing in Ocean of Storm Charles
performed several scientific work on the lunar surface. When Charles
, who was somewhat shorter than Neil
, stepped onto the lunar surface, his first words
were "Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that's a long
one for me." This was not an off-the-cuff remark: Charles
had made a $500 bet with reporter Oriana Fallaci he
would say these words, after she had queried whether
had instructed Neil
what to say as he stepped onto the Moon. Charles
later said he was never able to collect the money.
The astronauts deployed an S-band antenna, solar wind composition
experiment, the American flag and most important, the Apollo Lunar Surface
Experiments Package (ALSEP
) with a SNAP-27 atomic generator. This was done
during the first
on November 19, 1969 (3h 56m). To improve the
quality of television pictures from the Moon, a color camera was carried on
Apollo 12 (unlike the monochrome camera that was used on Apollo 11).
Unfortunately, when Alan
carried the camera to the place near the lunar module where it was to be set
up, he inadvertently pointed it directly into the Sun, destroying the SEC tube.
Television coverage of this mission was thus terminated almost
was performed on November 20, 1969 (3h 49m) in
which different samples were collected and photographic panoramas were
obtained. Apollo 12 successfully landed within walking distance of the
Surveyor 3 probe
, which had landed on the lunar surface on April 20, 1967.
removed pieces of the probe to be taken back to Earth for analysis. It is
claimed that the common bacterium Streptococcus mitis was found to have
accidentally contaminated the spacecraft's camera prior to launch and survived
dormant in this harsh environment for two and a half years. However, this
finding has since been disputed: see Reports of Streptococcus mitis on the
Moon. All in all 34,4 km of material gathered.
After 31,5 hours on the
lunar surface launch to the Command Module Yankee Clipper with Richard
in the moon orbit. Richard
had completed a lunar multispectral photography
experiment and photographed proposed future landing sites during that time.
Intrepid's ascent stage was dropped (per normal procedures) after Charles
in orbit. It impacted the Moon on November 20, 1969 at
3.94°S 21.20°W. The seismometers the astronauts had left on the lunar
surface registered the vibrations for more than an hour.
The crew was
recovered by the