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Apollo 15

"Man must explore. And this is exploration at its greatest." This photo shows astronaut Jim Irwin at work on the Moon near Lunar Rover 1 and the Lunar Module Falcon. The entire Apollo 15 crew autographed this photo.  Photo Credit: NASA
Crew Signed Photo Of Jim Irwin On The Moon Near Lunar RoverApollo 15 was the fourth manned mission to land on the Moon.

The Apollo 15 crew consisted of Commander David Randolf Scott, Command Module Pilot Alfred Merrill Worden, and 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 they checked 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 thrust 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 range.

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 Irwin landed.

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 the moon 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 data.

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 53 seconds.

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UPDATED : January 6, 2007
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