HOUSTON – We are celebrating some big space milestones this year. The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing was in July. Now we are marking another important milestone: 50 years since Apollo 12. The launch was on Nov. 14, 1969.
Commander Pete Conrad, lunar module pilot Alan Bean and command module pilot Richard Gordon made up the crew of Apollo 12.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
The command module was named Yankee Clipper. The lunar excursion module that carried Conrad and Bean to the surface of the moon was Intrepid. The names were selected from a list submitted by employees of contractors that built the spaceships.
THE NEAR EMERGENCY
Less than a minute after takeoff, the Saturn V rocket carrying the Apollo 12 crew was struck by lightning - twice. The vehicle was not harmed (neither were the astronauts) and the crew continued with its mission.
STICKING THE LANDING
While the Apollo 11 landing had workers in Mission Control holding their breath, the Apollo 12 crew landed right near the spot they had planned. It was a precision landing - within walking distance of the Surveyor satellite which had landed on the lunar surface in 1967.
MEN ON THE MOON
Conrad and Bean became the third and fourth men to walk on the lunar surface.