DEC 04, 2018 6:28 PM PST

Learn How NASA's Apollo 12 Mission Escaped Double Lightning Strikes

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

When NASA’s Apollo 12 mission was preparing to launch on November 14th, 1969, ominous storm clouds began swarming the launch pad. Regardless, weather conditions were still considered optimal for a rocket launch, and mission control proceeded with the launch.

Less than a minute into the launch, Apollo 12 crew members suddenly lost power to several onboard electronics. Shortly after, many others lost power. Both mission control and the crew members couldn’t figure out what had transpired, but it was later revealed that the spacecraft was struck by lightning not once, but twice, just after liftoff.

Everyone involved understood the importance of bringing systems back online, otherwise, the Apollo 12 mission would have to be aborted. Fortunately, Apollo 12 crew members were able to regain power not long after the lightning strikes by rerouting auxiliary power to communication and science instruments.

Despite a near-failed launch, Apollo 12 successfully carried out its primary missions of performing detailed scientific lunar exploration and deploying the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package. Best of all, no one got hurt by the lightning strikes.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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