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The Apollo 16 command module “Casper” is on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama

Apollo 16 Mission

Apollo 16 (April 16 – 27, 1972) was the tenth crewed mission in the United States Apollo space program, administered by NASA, and the fifth and next-to-last to land on the Moon. It was the second of Apollo’s “J missions”, with an extended stay on the lunar surface, a focus on science, and the use of the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV). The landing and exploration were in the Descartes Highlands, a site chosen because some scientists expected it to be an area formed by volcanic action, though this proved to not be the case.

The mission was crewed by Commander John Young, Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke and Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly. Launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 16, 1972, Apollo 16 experienced a number of minor glitches en route to the Moon. These culminated with a problem with the spaceship’s main engine that resulted in a six-hour delay in the Moon landing as NASA managers contemplated having the astronauts abort the mission and return to Earth, before deciding the problem could be overcome. Although they permitted the lunar landing, NASA had the astronauts return from the mission one day earlier than planned.

After flying the lunar module to the Moon’s surface on April 21, Young and Duke spent 71 hours—just under three days—on the lunar surface, during which they conducted three extravehicular activities or moonwalks, totaling 20 hours and 14 minutes. The pair drove the lunar rover, the second used on the Moon, for 26.7 kilometers (16.6 mi). On the surface, Young and Duke collected 95.8 kilograms (211 lb) of lunar samples for return to Earth, including Big Muley, the largest Moon rock collected during the Apollo missions. During this time Mattingly orbited the Moon in the command and service module (CSM), taking photos and operating scientific instruments. Mattingly, in the command module, spent 126 hours and 64 revolutions in lunar orbit. After Young and Duke rejoined Mattingly in lunar orbit, the crew released a subsatellite from the service module (SM). During the return trip to Earth, Mattingly performed a one-hour spacewalk to retrieve several film cassettes from the exterior of the service module. Apollo 16 returned safely to Earth on April 27, 1972.

Apollo 16 Mission Overview by Tony Bela

PDF Contents

Mission Overview

  • Apollo 16 Press Kit
  • Apollo 16 Mission Rules
  • Apollo 16 Crew Training Summary
  • Apollo 16 Flight Plan
  • On The Moon with Apollo 16
  • Science Training History of the Apollo Astronauts

Saturn V & Launch

  • Apollo 16 Saturn V AS-511 Flight Evaluation Report
  • Apollo 16 Saturn V Postflight Trajectory
  • Apollo 16 CSM Launch Checklist
  • Apollo 16 Crew Charts
  • Apollo 16 Flight Software Readiness Review
  • Apollo 16 LM AGS Flight Software Readiness Review
  • Apollo 16 CSM Operational Procedures Vol. 2

Transcripts & Communications

  • Apollo 16 CM On-Board Voice Transcript
  • Apollo 16 LM On-Board Voice Transcript
  • Apollo 16 PAO Spacecraft Commentary
  • Apollo 16 Technical Air-to-Ground Transcript
  • Apollo 16 Voice Transcript Geology

Command & Service Module

  • Apollo 16 PreFlight Traverse Briefing
  • Apollo 16 Stowage List
  • Apollo 16 CSM G&C Checklist
  • Apollo 16 CSM Rendezvous Procedures
  • Apollo 16 Food & Nutrition Studies

Lunar Module

  • Apollo 16 LM Timeline
  • Apollo 16 LM Lunar Surface Checklist
  • Apollo 16 LM Data Card Chng E
  • Apollo 16 LM11 Operations Handbook Vol2

Lunar Rover

  • Apollo 16 LRV Operations Handbook
  • Apollo 16 LRV Operations Handbook Revised
  • Apollo 16 LRV Electrical System Meter Anomalies

Lunar Operations

  • Apollo 16 EMU Operations Handbook
  • Apollo 16 Traverse Planning & Field Procedures
  • Apollo Lunar Surface Drill Familiarization
  • Apollo 16 Lunar Surface Procedures
  • Apollo 16 Lunar Surface Procedures (Supplement)
  • Apollo 16 ALSEP #73 Mission Science Requirements

Lunar Samples, Photography, and Science

  • Apollo 16 Rock Catalog 1of3
  • Apollo 16 Rock Catalog 2of3
  • Apollo 16 Rock Catalog 3of3
  • Apollo 16 Special Samples
  • Apollo 16 Geologic Map of Landing Site
  • Apollo 16 F-Regolith of the Apollo 16 Site
  • Apollo 16 ALSEP Science Contingency Procedures
  • Apollo 16 Electrophoresis Demo
  • Apollo 16 Lunar Photography
  • Apollo 16 Photo Index 70mm photo 16mm film
  • Apollo 16 Time Motion Study
  • Apollo 16 Lunar Surface Experiments Deployment Criteria
  • Apollo 16 – Visibility of Northern Areas at Descartes from a Proposed Excursion During EVA I (Case 310)
  • Apollo 16 Properties of Concrete made with Lunar Soil
  • Apollo 16 Lunar Sample Information Catalog
  • Apollo 16 Surface Sampler Data Package
  • Apollo 16 Photograph Evaluation (APE) Data Book

Mission Debriefing

  • Apollo 16 Mission Report
  • Apollo 16 Mission Report Supplement GNC system performance analysis report
  • Apollo 16 Preliminary Science Report
  • Apollo Flight Summary Report, June 1972
  • Apollo 16 Technical Crew Debriefing
  • Apollo 16 Recovery Press Kit
  • Apollo 16 30 Day Failure Anomaly Report
  • Apollo 16 LRV Rear Steering Anomaly
  • Apollo 16 Sonic Boom Ground Pressure Measurements Launch Reentry

Apollo 16 Full Mission Videos by LunarModule5

Apollo 16 Videos

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"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." - President John F. Kennedy, May 25, 1961