17 Facts About Apollo 15


Apollo 15 was the ninth crewed mission in the United States' Apollo program and the fourth to land on the Moon.

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Apollo 15 became the first of three extended missions, known as J missions, and the landing site was moved to Hadley Rille, originally planned for Apollo 19.

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Apollo 15 flew in Gemini 8 in 1966 alongside Neil Armstrong and as command module pilot of Apollo 9 in 1969.

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None of the support crew would fly during the Apollo 15 program, waiting until the Space Shuttle program to go into space.

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Apollo 15 used command and service module CSM-112, which was given the call sign Endeavour, named after HMS Endeavour, and lunar module LM-10, call sign Falcon, named after the United States Air Force Academy mascot.

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Scott explained the choice of the name Endeavour on the grounds that its captain, James Cook had commanded the first purely scientific sea voyage, and Apollo 15 was the first lunar landing mission on which there was a heavy emphasis on science.

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Apollo 15 took with it a small piece of wood from Cook's ship, while Falcon carried two falcon feathers to the Moon in recognition of the crew's service in the Air Force.

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Saturn V that launched Apollo 15 was designated SA-510, the tenth flight-ready model of the rocket.

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Apollo 15 Particles and Fields Subsatellite was a small satellite released into lunar orbit from the SIM bay just before the mission left orbit to return to Earth.

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The initial orbit Apollo 15 was in had its apocynthion, or high point, over the landing site at Hadley; a burn at the opposite point in the orbit was performed, with the result that Hadley would now be under the craft's pericynthion, or low point.

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Apollo 15 concluded that they were likely to overshoot the planned landing site, and, once he could see the rille, started maneuvering the vehicle to move the computer's landing target back towards the planned spot, and looked for a relatively smooth place to land.

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Apollo 15 offered Irwin a chance to look out as well, but this would have required rearranging the umbilicals connecting Irwin to Falcon's life support system, and he declined.

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Apollo 15 dropped the hammer and feather at the same time; because of the negligible lunar atmosphere, there was no drag on the feather, which hit the ground at the same time as the hammer.

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Apollo 15 placed a Bible on the control panel of the rover before leaving it for the last time to enter the LM.

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Apollo 15 exercised to avoid muscle atrophy, and Houston kept him up to date on Scott and Irwin's activities on the lunar surface.

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Apollo 15's task was complicated by the lack of a working mission timer in the Lower Equipment Bay of the command module, as its circuit breaker had popped en route to the Moon.

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Apollo 15 saw an increase in public interest in the Apollo program, in part due to fascination with the LRV, as well as the attractiveness of the Hadley Rille site and the increased television coverage.

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