Apollo 14

Apollos 11 and 12 landed on the comparatively flat—and due to this fact comparatively secure—mare areas of the Moon. These are the darker elements of the lunar floor composed of geologically younger materials created by volcanic exercise. Apollo 14 focused the brilliant highlands area of Fra Mauro, the identical vacation spot as Apollo 13. More of the Moon’s floor is highlands than maria, and to solely return samples from maria could be to disregard a significant side of lunar geology. Scientists additionally believed that the highlands areas have been a lot older than the maria, which, whereas making them scientifically extra attention-grabbing, meant they have been extra cratered and uneven. Safe touchdown areas have been tougher to seek out.It turned out that touchdown could be the straightforward half. After separating from the command module however previous to their lunar descent part, Al Shepard and Ed Mitchell discovered that the LM’s pc was errantly coming into a mission abort mode. If the spacecraft had been in its descent part, this may have induced the pc to fireplace the principle engine and abort their one alternative to land, a harmful maneuver beneath any scenario.The astronauts discovered that tapping on the console close to the swap would briefly reset the abort studying, suggesting {that a} unfastened piece of solder or steel was shorting a circuit throughout the system. But this momentary answer was not sufficient to make sure a secure touchdown.To resolve this downside NASA summoned, Don Eyles, a 27-year-old pc engineer from MIT who had labored on the lunar touchdown program. In lower than 2 hours, he wrote a system scorching patch that the astronauts manually entered into the LM’s pc which instructed it to disregard the abort studying throughout descent. The repair labored.Shepard landed the lunar module Antares nearer to his goal touchdown website than some other Apollo mission. But because of the uneven terrain of the lunar highlands, Antares stood angled at practically 7 levels. This made it tough for the astronauts to sleep comfortably, at instances Shepard and Mitchell needed to look out the window to verify the LM wasn’t tipping over.

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