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View of Surveyor III in its crater


View of Surveyor III in its crater



AS12-48-7121 (20 Nov. 1969) --- An excellent view of the unmanned Surveyor 3 spacecraft which was photographed during the Apollo 12 second extravehicular activity (EVA) on the surface of the moon. The Apollo 12 Lunar Module (LM), with astronauts Charles Conrad Jr., commander, and Alan L. Bean, lunar module pilot, aboard landed within 600 feet of Surveyor 3 in the Ocean of Storms. The television camera and several other pieces were taken from Surveyor 3 and brought back to Earth for scientific examination. Surveyor 3 landed on the side of this small crater in the Ocean of Storms on April 19, 1967. Astronaut Richard F. Gordon Jr., command module pilot, remained with the Apollo 12 Command and Service Modules (CSM) in lunar orbit while Conrad and Bean descended to explore the moon.

Apollo 12 launched from Cape Kennedy on Nov. 14, 1969, into a cloudy, rain-swept sky. The flight plan for Apollo 12 was similar to that of Apollo 11, except Apollo 12 was to fly a higher inclination to the lunar equator and leave the free-return trajectory after the second translunar midcourse correction. Prior to lunar orbit insertion, a telecast was made to Earth on Nov. 17, showing the Earth, moon, spacecraft interior and intravehicular transfer of the crew. Later that day, when Apollo 12 went behind the moon at about 97 miles up, the first lunar orbit insertion burn began. The burn lasted for about six minutes, placing the spacecraft into an elliptical orbit of 69 by 195 miles. On Nov. 19, with the LM behind the moon in the 14th orbit, and some 109 hours, 23 minutes into the mission, the descent orbit insertion maneuver began. With Conrad controlling the descent semi-manually for the last 500 feet, a precision landing occurred at about 110 hours, 32 minutes into the mission, and closer to the target than expected. Intrepid landed in the Ocean of Storms at 3 degrees, 11 hours, 51 minutes south, and 23 degrees, 23 minutes, and 7.5 seconds west. Landing was about 120 feet northeast of Head Crater, and about 535 feet northwest from where Surveyor III stood in its crater. Apollo 12 touched down approximately 950 miles west of where Apollo 11 had landed. Three hours after the landing and before the first extravehicular activity or, EVA, began. Richard Gordon, orbiting 69 miles up in the Yankee Clipper, was able to see both the Intrepid and Surveyor through the use of a 28-power sextant telescope. Conrad opened Intrepid's hatch at 115 hours, 10 minutes into the mission to begin the first lunar EVA for the Apollo 12 crew. In their first lunar exploration, Conrad spent three hours, 39 minutes outside Intrepid, and Bean logged two hours, 58 minutes on the lurain. Crew Charles Conrad Jr., Commander Alan L. Bean, Lunar Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon Jr., Command Module Pilot






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