Designed as "an expeditionary force for a geologic assault1
" on the Moon’s Hadley Rille
, Apollo 15
was a groundbreaking lunar mission. Designed to be devoted entirely to scientific exploration, it included a number of notable firsts: first to land outside of the lunar mare
; first 3 day stay on the moon
; first use of the Lunar Rover
by Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot Jim Irwin; first use of the Scientific Instrument Module
, used by Command Module Pilot Al Worden to study the moon from lunar orbit; and first launch of a subsatellite
, used to map the plasma, particle and magnetic fields of the moon. On top of that, Scott gave a visual proof
of Galileo's theory of objects in gravity fields in a vacuum, showing gravity acts equally on all objects regardless of their mass. Scott and Irwin also discovered of the Genesis Rock
, a piece the moon's primordial crust, formed only 100 million years after the solar system itself.
The mission was a spectacular success, publicly called "One of the most brilliant missions in space science ever flown"
. The crew was lauded and their future with NASA seemed assured.
Then the stamps hit the fan and Apollo 15 became the first US space crew that was ever fired. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Dec 2, 2011 -