tv Reel America Apollo 14 Mission to Fra Mauro - 1971 CSPAN January 29, 2021 8:00pm-8:32pm EST
piracy united states got everything. that john adams hoped for, everything short of canada, that benjamin franklin had hoped for. much beyond what they expected. but what was promised on paper, was very different than the reality in the growing decades of the united states may 5th 1961, the united states, took the first small step on this journey to the moon. america's first man in space,
allen shepard. lifted 216 miles, by the red stone rockets. 70,000 pounds of thrust. ten years later the launch vehicle is saturn five. with the thrust of seven and a half million tons. on january 31st 19, 71. the crew apollo 14 would leave earth, on their mission to the moon. the man who began our first decade, of man's spaceflight. would command the mission, that would close that decade. allen shepard. with him, stewart -- who would orbit the moon alone, while him and edgar mitchell explored the surface. their destination, a rugged area of lunar highlands called fra mauro. a poll 13 aborted as the
closest to the moon. but now we're going to try again. but why fra mauro. >> what happened to the moon during the first years, a period on earth, how does the earth and moon differ from composition? by visiting fra mauro we hope to sample the bedrock of the moon. the two are different, material that perhaps those dating back to the beginning of the solar system. >> we're thinking of the soil being 4.5 billion years old. >> this will be dramatically reviewed or confirmed, at the apollo 14 mission when they actually visit fra mauro. >> most of the activity is according to one place on the moon, and we have found that near or inside fra mauro.
>> we are unable to go capture. >> plus they tried three times. . >> we did not launch. >> we're seeing on tv here. >> as the astronauts waited and identical docking probe was brought into mission complete mission control. this probe fits into a frontal -like device on the lunar module. tiny touches on the point and gates engage the drove it was these capture last latches that we're working. the astronauts tried a fourth time benefits.
>> no latching no latching. >> in space, on earth they searched for solutions then on the six troy. >> i got a hard dock houston. >> as they coasted to the moon, the crew brought the probe inside the spacecraft for examination. on earth it was tested and retested, but we had to be sure that the probe would work, for the most critical docking. as shepard and mitchell returned from the lunar service surface. >> on october 4th apollo 14 went into orbit around the moon. as apollo 14 was on its first orbit the first stage of boosters smashed in to the moon at its planned target point.
it was picked up by the seismometers left from apollo 12th. the structure of the moon's interior, is one of the major mysteries of lunar science. now another piece was added, that would help solve the puzzle. later that day shepard and mitchell climbed into the lunar module and terry's. and undocked prior to dissent. but as they checked out the lunar module, a problem appeared. an erroneous abort was being signaled on on terry's. should this occur during the landing and harry's would abort automatically. and the landing would be off. the mission control team had two hours, the time of one lunar orbit, to find the solution. flight control controller dickson, thought the problem
was a loose particle in the button. the verdict came to rest on computer programmer, donald aisles. working at mit and cambridge massachusetts, he reprogrammed it to ignore the false signal. this new program, was checked out in a simulator, at kate kennedy. as and terry's came into contact with earth again, the instructions were sent up to the crew. >> and terry's houston. >> yes you've guys done a great job down there. >> thank you. >> less than ten miles above the lunar surface, chambers and mitchell, swept across the landing site. >> it's a go from us. >> it's a beautiful day in the land of fra mauro. then another problem, the landing radar, which would tell them they're altitude above the
lunar surface. >> abort radar, a. >> and terry's houston, as. >> okay it's cycled. >> okay except the radar. >> okay monitor decent. >> ten seconds to go. >> okay switch over. >> and there it is. >> it looks beautiful. >> right out the window. >> houston here, go for landing. >> a major objective of this mission to fra mauro, a whole blasted in the moon's surface eons ago. that can provide a scientific clue, for the history of the moon, the earth, and the solar system. >> you see the crater right
outside. >> if this is the case we could get torn out from his deep as 60 miles into the lunar crust. all in all the fra mauro material should contain a great deal of information about the moon, and help us better understand the formation of our own earth. >> okay. give it a few clicks. you're 200 feet. >> that looks good. >> okay here. you >> okay looks like you're going right over there. you're 170 feet out. you're looking good. he >> okay forward very barely
crossed the system. land we are next stop. >> okay. >> that's good you're looking great. >> 60 seconds. >> 40 feet. three feet per second. three feet per second looking great. >> 20 feet. ten feet. contact. >> we are on the surface. >> roger and terry's. >> five and a half hours later shepherd the lefties lunar module to begin the first of two explorations. >> going down the ladder. >> roger. >> ten years later, 114 hours, 22 minutes after leaving earth, allen shepard stepped onto the
moon. >> it looks like you're on the bottom step. and on the surface. not bad for an old man. >> ok you're right, we're on the surface. it's been a long way but we are here. >> four minutes later, he was joined by ed mitchell. >> following the tradition of two previous missions, edward and shepard, placed flag. the next job, was to load the net, a rickshaw wagon, which is what the astronauts would use to collect samples. >> one of the big factors, in lunar exploration is ability. apollo 14, let us move further
than other missions. previous ones we used a robot, like a moon buggy. spent less time getting from here to their, rather than collecting samples it took us more time. >> okay we're doing better than expected. >> shepard pulled the -- while mitchell carried the sample. a station designed to continue broadcasting data to earth, for a year after men departed from fra mauro. >> okay we're proceeding forward over. >> that is a deep hole. >> right now we're in the depression. it's a very deep depression.
>> roger your visible. >> nothing like being up to your armpits in lunar dust. >> finding a suitable sight to place the scientific instruments was the next order of business. shepard and mitchell began setting up the library. a small nuclear generator for the array. the central station, to transmit data to earth. the seismometers, to detect and measure activity on and within the moon. a series of three experiments, to measure charged particles near the lunar service surface. an independent experiment, to refracts laser beams from earth. to measure earth to moon
distance. the wobble of the earth's axis. continental drift, and shifts of the earth's crust. and mortar, to be fired from a signal from earth, sometime within the next year. the impact of its charges, will be picked up by apollo 14 seismometers. as a final exercise, mitchell used the sumter. a device to explode a series a series of controlled shotgun like shots. the vibrations from these that nations, were picked up by instruments he had previously deployed. with the instruments set up an operating. they head back towards and terry's. causing and stopping on the way to collect samples. they loaded their 44 pounds of lunar material, aboard the lunar module, and after four hours and 50 minutes on the surface, they climbed back into
and terry's. as shepard and mitchell rested, stuart roosa continued hid his work from lunar orbit. his photographs, would have meeting not only to the scientific community but would have direct bearing on the planning for coming missions. [inaudible] 12 hours and 40 minutes later, shepard and mitchell began their second exploration period. ♪ ♪ ♪ after loading the lunar rickshaw, mitchell began the journey to comb crater. shepard adjusted the television camera, then hurried to join his partner.
okay, [inaudible] >> this is probably really good. >> point a, the first stop on the point to comb. here they would collect undocumented samples. measure the local magnetic field, and take or two samples from beneath the surface is layer. >> [inaudible] like raindrops, very >> the quality of the scientific
description by the astronauts could be heard by earth could be termed only as excellent. but now shepard and mitchell pushed on. after a brief stop at a second survey site, they began their assault on comb crater. a climb not only to the summit of a lunar mountain, but back through time. >> a large crater acts like a drill, throwing out material from deep beneath the surface. this material should be very different from any we've collected before. perhaps stating back to the origins of the moon and maybe the solar system. >> we are starting uphill now. we'll pull up the side this big greater, take a break, and find
out exactly where we are. >> the maps they were using had been made from photography, from lunar orbit. the creators, ridge isn't boulders to find a new appearance one scene from the surface. >> it looks like it's got kind of flat over there where it's leaning. starting up towards the rim. it's getting pretty steep. [inaudible] >> i'll tell you really gonna get [inaudible] >> [inaudible] towards the top here.
[noise] >> that's the [inaudible] that's that least 30 minutes up there. >> now they were working against time. against the water left in their backpacks, against -- the ridge thinking it's the ridge of the crater, but there's another ridge ahead of them. >> i think will have enough time to go up that there. >> let's give it a whirl. >> [inaudible] >> okay right now we have a
30-minute extension. >> looks like we will be approaching it very shortly. okay, [inaudible] >> standing in a field surrounded by rocks ten to 12 feet long, the astronauts made their most difficult decision. with the concurrence of mission control, they stopped their climb. less than 150 feet from the edge. we get the more important job of collecting samples. >> the crew had no way of realizing they were so close. it was a week after the mission before we determine this by photographic analysis. >> while they could overcome the terrain, they could not
beat the steady strain of oxygen from their backpacks. the decision not to go on to the rim meant little. in human terms, a great disappointment. >> [inaudible] >> the white rock is of a different composition. in fact the chemistry of all the rocks that have been looked at so far is different to those rocks. potassium and uranium are ten times higher which are the sort of values we might represent -- if it's ludicrous which we are all hoping. >> again it was time. time to head back to the lunar module. >> approaching the rim now.
>> after quick side trip to check on the science station. they loaded the lunar module with data and stepped off the lunar surface. it lasted for hours and 35 minutes. a total exploration of a record nine and one half hours. 33 and a half hours after they landed, allen shepard an egg gear mitchell lifted off in the silent vacuum of the moon. >> five, four, three, two, one. >> we are cleared what it will lift off. >> roger ignition.
>> they transfer the gear to the kitty hawk, then -- it crashed into the moon at a predetermine spot. its impact picked up by their size monitor and decides monitor left by apollo 12. over a year earlier. 149 hours after they left earth, they perform the burn that broke them out of lunar orbit. during the coast to earth, there will be time to catch up on sleep, relax and do all the little things left undone. and there was one more item. series of scientific demonstrations and zero gravity. demonstrations impossible to do
on earth. these trials looked at basic physical properties of matter in zero gravity. studies that could lead eventually to new materials manufactured in space, for use on earth. on february 9th 1971, nine days after they left earth, the crew of apollo 14 hit the atmosphere of their planted, at a speed of over 24,000 miles per hour. they're headed towards earth, a meteor. -- ♪ ♪ ♪ >> extremely important question related to why we are floating around. earth --
>> but we hope to gain is we have a window right now from the beginning of the solar system and when the earth so totally messed up itself that we can't look at it anymore. that window is on the moon. >> paul 14 has had a big impact, we still have three missions left. they will be adding into more rugged and more interesting areas of the moon. beginning with the apollo 15, the lunar rover will let us range further field and collect more scientific samples and information. the study of the moon -- elements and minerals in its