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Apollo 16
Apollo 16 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Primary objectives were to (1) perform geological inspection, survey, and sampling of materials and surface features in a preselected area of the Descartes region; (2) emplace and activate surface experiments; and (3) conduct inflight experiments and photographic tasks.

Crew:
Commander: John W. Young
Lunar module (Orion) pilot: Charles M. Duke, Jr.
Command module (Casper) pilot: Thomas K. Mattingly II

Landing site:
Mare Tranquilitatis (Sea of Tranquility)

Accomplishments: Apollo 16 was the first landing in the central lunar highlands. This mission overturned prevailing scientific opinion that the central lunar highlands were of volcanic origin.


Key Dates
16 Apr 1972:  Launch
19 Apr 1972:  Lunar Orbit Insertion
20 Apr 1972:  Lunar Landing
24 Apr 1972:  Lunar Surface Departure
27 Apr 1972:  Recovery on Earth
27 Apr 1972:  End of Lunar Mission
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Apollo 16 Facts Apollo 16 was the fifth crewed mission to the lunar surface.

At 36 years of age, Charles Duke was the youngest person to walk on the moon.

Ken Mattingly was to have piloted the command module on the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, but the flight surgeon grounded him 72 hours before the scheduled launch. Charles Duke had exposed the crew to German measles, to which Mattingly had no immunity.

The command module (see right) was named after Casper the Friendly Ghost, allegedly after some children remarked that the spacesuited astronauts looked like the cartoon character.

The lunar module was named "Orion" for the constellation because the crew would depend on star sightings to navigate.
People Spotlight
David S. McKay David S. McKay
During the Apollo program, McKay gave the first men to walk on the moon training in geology. Read More...
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Last Updated: 5 Sep 2013