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Apollo 15D
Apollo 15 Particle and Fields Subsatellite Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: The spacecraft's main objectives were to study the plasma, particle, and magnetic-field environment of the Moon and map the lunar gravity field.

Accomplishments: The subsatellite, deployed by the Apollo 15 crew shortly before they left lunar orbit, provided about six months of data coverage before electronics failures in February 1972 caused the loss of most of the data channels. Nevertheless, all mission objectives were fulfilled. Measurements supported Explorer 35's finding that the Moon acts as a physical barrier to the solar wind, creating a "hole" in the flow of charged particles.


Key Dates
26 Jul 1971:  Launch
4 Aug 1971:  Deployment by Apollo 15 Crew (20:13:19 UT)
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Apollo 15D Facts This was the first orbiter deployed by humans from a spacecraft (right).

Apollo 15 carried astronauts David Scott and James Irwin to the Moon. Alfred Worden piloted the command module in orbit.

A similar subsatellite was carried aboard Apollo 16.
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Last Updated: 29 Sep 2010