Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 15 launch

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Apollo 15 launched at 0936 on July 26, 1971, which is now fifty years ago. Their objective, to explore the Hadley Apennine region of the Moon, the most scientifically significant site of the entire Apollo program.

The San Diego Air & Space Museum tells KUSI News, “After a three-day transit and one day in lunar orbit, Commander Dave Scott and Lunar Module Pilot Jim Irwin landed their Lunar Module “Falcon” near Hadley Rille at the base of the Apennine mountains to live and work on the Moon for three days, as Command Module Pilot Al Worden orbited the Moon in the Command Module “Endeavor”, operating a large suite of sophisticated scientific instruments. Scott and Irwin drove the first Lunar Roving Vehicle to explore three areas of unique geological features on the slopes of Hadley Delta mountain (9,000 feet) and the edge of Hadley Rille (1,000 feet deep, 1.5 miles across).”

Continuing, “During their three EVAs and 18 hours outside the Lunar Module, they observed for the first time stratigraphic layering in the sides of Hadley Rille, and they maneuvered the Lunar Rover 3.1 miles from the Lunar Module including up the steep soft slopes (19 degrees) of Hadley Delta mountain. They collected 179 pounds of lunar rocks and soil, among the most significant of which were an anorthosite (15415), the first sample of the primordial crust of the Moon (age 4.5 billion years) often termed the “genesis rock”, and a surprising “friable green clod” (15425), containing the first water discovered on the Moon. Scott and Irwin would later precisely rendezvous with Al Worden for two more days of science in lunar orbit. They returned to Earth in three days splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.”

After the mission, NASA called it “the most complex and carefully planned scientific expedition in the history of exploration.”

President & CEO of the San Diego Air and Space Museum, Jim Kidrick, joined KUSI’s Paul Rudy on Good Morning San Diego to discuss the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 15 launch.

Apollo 15 Briefing

Launch Time and Date: Apollo 15 launched at 0936 on July 26, 1971

Rocket: Saturn V SA-510
Launch site: Kennedy LC-39A

Crew:
Commander: Dave Scott (Age 89)
Lunar Module Pilot: Jim Irwin (Passed in 1981 at age 61)
Command Module Pilot: Al Worden (Passed in 2020 at age 88)

Lunar Module: “Falcon”
Command Module: Endeavor”

Mission Duration: 12 days, 7 hours, 11 minutes, 53 seconds

Lunar Landing Date: July 30, 1971
Return Launch from the lunar surface: August 2, 1971

Lunar Roving Vehicle: First use

EVAs: 1 in cslunar space, 4 on lunar surface, (including standup), 18 hours outside the Lunar Module
Notable: Traveled a much greater distance – 3.1 miles — away from the Lunar Module than ever before)

Lunar rocks and soil: 179 pounds collected
Notable: The first sample of the primordial crust of the Moon (age 4.5 billion years) often termed the “Genesis rock”, and a surprising “friable green clod” (15425), containing the first water discovered on the Moon.

Lunar Landing Date: July 30, 1971
Return Launch from the Moon’s surface: August 2, 1971

Flight Directors
1. Gerry Griffin (Age86)
2. Milt Windler (Age 89)
3. Glynn Lunney (Passed on March 19, 2021 at the age of 84)
4. Gene Kranz (Age 87)

End of Mission
Recovered by: USS Okinawa
Landing date: August 7, 1971
Landing site: North Pacific Ocean

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