|Apollo 15 was the
fourth manned mission to land on the Moon.
The Apollo 15 crew
Commander David Randolf Scott, Command Module Pilot Alfred Merrill
Lunar Module Pilot James Benson Irwin.
The Apollo 15 crew named their command module Endeavour and named their
lunar module Falcon.
Falcon was chosen because it is the mascot of the US Air Force Academy
and all three members of the crew were members of the US Air Force.
Apollo 15 was launched with a Saturn V rocket on July 26, 1971 from
Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The Apollo 15 crew orbited the Earth for one and one half orbits while
out their spacecraft. After the one and one half orbits, the crew
fired the J2 engine on the third stage of the Saturn V. This
propelled them to escape velocity from the Earth and sent them on
towards the Moon.
The landing site on the surface of the Moon for Astronauts Scott and
Irwin was on the edge of the Sea of Rains (Mare Imbrium). This
diverse geological site was near Hadley Rille and the Apennine mountain
On July 30, 1971 Scott and Irwin in Falcon undocked from Endeavour to
head down to the surface of the Moon. Astronaut Worden stayed
behind in lunar orbit with the command service module while Scott and
Apollo 15 was the first of the lunar exploration missions to take with
it an electric vehicle.
The vehicle was called the lunar rover and it was used to increase the
range that the astronauts could explore on the lunar surface.
Scott and Irwin conducted 3 EVAs on the lunar surface. The total
duration of their EVAs was 18 hours and 46 minutes. During that
time Scott and Irwin collected near 170 pounds of lunar samples.
On August 2, 1971 astronauts Scott and Irwin lifted off from
with the ascent stage of the lunar module. They rendezvoused with the
command service module that remained in orbit with astronaut Worden.
The astronauts transferred their precious cargo of lunar samples and
themselves to the command module before undocking from Falcon.
The now unmanned ascent stage of the lunar module was commanded to
crash into the surface of the Moon for the purpose of gathering seismic
After 74 lunar orbits the service propulsion system engine on the
service module was fired to propel the Apollo 15 crew back to the Earth.
On the way back to Earth, astronaut Worden conducted the first deep
space EVA. It was farther away from Earth than anyone had ever
ventured out from his or her spacecraft into the void of space. He
floated back to the instrument bay of the service module and retrieved
film canisters that recorded photos of the Moon from lunar orbit.
On August 7, 1971, Endeavour and the crew splashed down in the Pacific
Ocean. The splashdown was somewhat harder than normal because one
of the three main parachutes used to slow down the command module had
not deployed properly and collapsed. The primary recovery ship
was the aircraft carrier USS Okinawa.
The flight duration
for Apollo 15 was 12 days, 7 hours, 11 minutes, and