NOV 19, 2019 10:04 AM PST

Apollo 12 - A Dramatic Journey Led by the Desire to Explore

WRITTEN BY: Vanesa Nikolova

On November 19th, the Apollo 12 astronauts, Pete Conrad and Alan Bean, became, respectively, the third and the fourth men to ever walk on the Moon’s surface.
Their incredible achievement came just four months after the great success of the Apollo 11 mission. The responsibility of the crew of Apollo 12 was even bigger because they had to repeat the success and establish a whole new era of space exploration.

Photo Credit: NASA


The Apollo 12 mission is somehow placed in the middle between Apollo 11, which marks the historic landing of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, and Apollo 13, the first mission to experience malfunction outside of Earth’s orbit and return back with all the crew members alive. That’s why Apollo 12 is often forgotten, but its unique contribution to science could not be denied nor erased from history. 


The Apollo 12 mission was set to lift off on November 14th, 1969. It was a dark, rainy day, but this was not a reason to delay the start of the mission as the rocket was made to resist extreme weather conditions. Less than a minute into the launch of Apollo 12 the rocket was struck by lightning, not once, but twice. Even this dramatic event could not prevent the crew of the mission to accomplish their goal and reach the Moon. It seems unreal that the name of the area where the lunar module landed is ‘Ocean of Storms’.

There are many people who would get conquered by fear in this situation, but the Apollo 12 astronauts didn’t let it ruin their mission.  Some people say it’s a matter of strong friendship between the three crew members of Apollo 12 – Pete Conrad, Alan Bean, and Richard Gordon. Others owe it completely to their bravery and professional skills. 

Here are some of the experiments that Pete Conrad and Alan Bean did after their Moon landing on November 19th – they set up a spectrometer to measure the composition of the solar wind, they deployed the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP), the first nuclear-powered geophysical station on the Moon, which also held the first lunar seismometer (which was about to prove the existence of moonquakes), they did measurements of the Moon’s magnetic field, etc.
During their walk on the Moon Conrad and Bean collected 76 pounds of rock samples (28 more pounds than Apollo 11).

 

Sources: NASA

About the Author
  • Vanesa grew up in Spain. Now she is currently studying journalism in the University of Sofia, Bulgaria. Her biggest passion in life is science, especially astronomy. Vanesa has published two fantasy genre books, the first one at the age of 15.
You May Also Like
MAR 08, 2020
Space & Astronomy
2020 Has a Lot of Martian Missions in Store
MAR 08, 2020
2020 Has a Lot of Martian Missions in Store
Space agencies typically send missions to Mars once every several years, depending on the need for scientific exploratio ...
JUN 01, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why SpaceX's Demo-2 Launch This Past Weekend Was So Significant
JUN 01, 2020
Why SpaceX's Demo-2 Launch This Past Weekend Was So Significant
If you somehow managed to miss the exciting news this past weekend, NASA and SpaceX set an important precedent in Americ ...
JUN 29, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Hubble Captures the 'Flapping' of Cosmic 'Wings'
JUN 29, 2020
Hubble Captures the 'Flapping' of Cosmic 'Wings'
The Hubble Space Telescope continues to send us incredible images of space. It has recently captured an image involving ...
JUL 06, 2020
Space & Astronomy
New Technology Can Detect Fast Radio Bursts
JUL 06, 2020
New Technology Can Detect Fast Radio Bursts
Fast radio bursts are intense pulses of energy that come from light years away, popping fir a few milliseconds before di ...
JUL 18, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Closest Ever Images of the Sun Expose Previously Unknown Features
JUL 18, 2020
Closest Ever Images of the Sun Expose Previously Unknown Features
New images from the Solar Orbiter, a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) that launched in Feb ...
JUL 30, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Indian Schoolgirls Discover Asteroid Moving Towards Earth
JUL 30, 2020
Indian Schoolgirls Discover Asteroid Moving Towards Earth
During a project sponsored by Space India and NASA, two schoolgirls aged 14 in the 10th grade discovered an asteroid nea ...
Loading Comments...