Apollo 12 Mission Image – Collecting Lunar Soil

Astronaut collecting samples on the Moon
NASA/MSFC
CreditNASA/MSFC
Historical DateNovember 20, 1969
Language
  • english

The second human lunar landing mission, Apollo 12, launched from launch pad 39-A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 14, 1969 via a Saturn Five launch vehicle. The Saturn V vehicle was developed by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) under the direction of Dr. Wernher von Braun. Aboard Apollo 12 was a crew of three astronauts: Alan L. Bean, pilot of the Lunar Module (LM), Intrepid; Richard Gordon, pilot of the Command Module (CM), Yankee Clipper; and Spacecraft Commander Charles Conrad. The LM, Intrepid, landed astronauts Conrad and Bean on the lunar surface in what’s known as the Ocean of Storms while astronaut Richard Gordon piloted the CM, Yankee Clipper, in a parking orbit around the Moon. Their lunar soil activities included the deployment of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP), finding the unmanned Surveyor 3 that landed on the Moon on April 19, 1967, and collecting 75 pounds (34 kilograms) of rock samples. In this photograph, one of the astronauts on the Moon’s surface is holding a container of lunar soil. The other astronaut is seen reflected in his helmet. Apollo 12 safely returned to Earth on November 24, 1969.