Apollo 15

Apollo 15 was the ninth crewed mission in the United States' Apollo program, the eighth to be successful, and the fourth to land on the Moon. It was the first J mission, with a longer stay on the Moon and a greater focus on science than earlier landings. Apollo 15 saw the first use of the Lunar Roving Vehicle. The mission began on July 26, 1971, and ended on August 7, the lunar surface exploration taking place between July 30 and August 2. Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin landed near Hadley Rille and explored the local area using the rover, allowing them to travel further from the lunar module than had been possible on previous missions. They spent 18​1⁄2 hours on the Moon's surface on extravehicular activity (EVA), and collected 170 pounds (77 kg) of surface material. At the same time, Command Module Pilot Alfred Worden orbited the Moon, operating the sensors in the SIM bay of the service module. This suite of instruments collected data on the Moon and its environment using a panoramic camera, a gamma-ray spectrometer, a mapping camera, a laser altimeter, a mass spectrometer, and a lunar subsatellite deployed at the end of Apollo 15's stay in lunar orbit. On the journey home, Worden performed the first spacewalk in deep space, and the mission splashed down safely despite the loss of one of its three parachutes. The mission accomplished its goals but was marred by negative publicity the following year when it emerged that the crew had carried unauthorized postal covers to the lunar surface, some of which were sold by a West German stamp dealer. The members of the crew were reprimanded for poor judgment, and did not fly in space again. Apollo 15 is also remembered for the finding of the Genesis Rock, and for Scott's use of a hammer and a feather to validate Galileo's theory that absent air resistance, objects drop at the same rate.


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