Apollo 14

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Apollo 14
Mission insignia
Apollo 14 insignia
Mission statistics
Mission name: Apollo 14
Call Signs: Command module: Kitty Hawk
Lunar module: Antares
Number of
Launch: January 31, 1971
21:03:02 UTC
Kennedy Space Center
LC 39A
Lunar landing: February 5, 1971
09:18:11 UTC
3° 38' 43.08" S - 17° 28' 16.90" W
Fra Mauro
Lunar EVA
1st: 4 h 47 min 50 s
2nd: 4 h 34 min 41 s
Total: 9 h 22 min 31 s
Lunar surface
33 h 30 min 29 s
Lunar sample
42.28 kg (93.211 lbs)
Splashdown: February 9, 1971
21:05:00 UTC
27° 1' S - 172° 39' W
Duration: 9 d 0 h 1 min 58 s
Number of
lunar orbits:
Time in
lunar orbit:
66 h 35 min 39.99 s
Mass: CSM 29,240 kg;
LM 15,264 kg
Crew picture
Apollo 14 crew portrait (L-R: Roosa, Shepard, and Mitchell)
Apollo 14 crew portrait
(L-R: Roosa, Shepard, and Mitchell)
Apollo 14 crew

Apollo 14 was the eighth manned mission in the Apollo program and the third mission to land on the moon.


Backup crew

Support crew

Mission parameters

LM - CSM docking


EVA 1 start: February 5, 1971, 14:42:13 UTC

  • Shepard - EVA 1
  • Stepped onto moon: 14:54 UTC
  • LM ingress: 19:22 UTC
  • Mitchell - EVA 1
  • Stepped onto moon: 14:58 UTC
  • LM ingress: 19:18 UTC
  • EVA 1 end: February 5, 19:30:50 UTC
    • Duration: 4 hours, 47 minutes, 50 seconds

EVA 2 start: February 6, 1971, 08:11:15 UTC

  • Shepard - EVA 2
  • Stepped onto moon: 08:16 UTC
  • LM ingress: 12:38 UTC
  • Mitchell - EVA 2
  • Stepped onto moon: 08:23 UTC
  • LM ingress: 12:28 UTC
  • EVA 2 end: February 6, 12:45:56 UTC
    • Duration: 4 hours, 34 minutes, 41 seconds

See also

Mission highlights

File:Apollo 14 LM adapter.jpg
Apollo 14 LM is placed in LM Adapter. (NASA)

On the way down, the LM "Antares" had two problems. First, the LM computer began getting an ABORT signal from the ABORT switch. NASA believed that the computer might be getting erroneous readings like this if a tiny ball of soldering material had shaken loose and was floating between the switch and the contact, closing the circuit. The immediate solution - tapping on the panel next to the switch - did work, but if the problem recurred after the descent engine fired, the computer would think the signal was real and would initiate the sequence to blow the Ascent Stage back into orbit. NASA and the software teams at MIT scrambled to find a more permanent solution - reprogramming the computer to ignore the signal - and Shepard and Mitchell were able to accomplish this just in time.

The second problem was the failure of the radar to lock onto the moon's surface. Eventually, at close to the last possible moment, it started working. Shepard landed the LM closer to its intended mark than any of the other five moon landing missions.

After landing in the Fra Mauro formation - the destination for Apollo 13 - Shepard and Mitchell took two moon­walks, adding new seismic studies to the by now familiar Apollo experiment package, and using a "lunar rickshaw" pull cart to carry their equipment. Roosa, meanwhile, took pictures from on board command module "Kitty Hawk" in lunar orbit.

Launch of Apollo 14

The second moonwalk, or EVA, was intended to reach the rim of the 1,000­ foot (300 m) wide Cone Crater. However, the two astronauts were not able to find the rim amid the rolling terrain of the crater's slopes. Later analysis, using the pictures that they took, determined that they had come within 65 feet of the crater's rim.

Shepard and Mitchell deployed and activated various scientific instruments and experiments and collected almost 100 pounds (45 kg) of lunar samples for return to earth. Other Apollo 14 achievements included: first use of Mobile Equipment Transporter (MET); largest payload placed in lunar orbit; longest distance traversed on the lunar surface; largest payload returned from the lunar surface; longest lunar surface stay time (33 hours); longest lunar surface EVA (9 hours and 17 minutes); first use of shortened lunar orbit rendezvous techniques; first use of color TV with new vidicon tube on lunar surface; and first extensive orbital science period conducted during CSM solo operations.

On the way back to Earth, the crew conducted the first U.S. materials processing experiments in space. The Apollo 14 astronauts were the last lunar explorers to be quarantined on their return from the Moon.

Shepard and Mitchell named their landing site Fra Mauro Base, and this designation is recognized by the International Astronomical Union (depicted in Latin on lunar maps as Statio Fra Mauro).

depiction of the plaque left on the moon by Apollo 14

Mission notes

Alan Shepard on lunar surface. (NASA)
  • Shepard is the only astronaut from Project Mercury (the original seven astronauts) to reach the Moon.
  • Shepard smuggled a makeshift six iron golf club and two golf balls to the moon, and took several swings. He exuberantly, and somewhat whimsically, exclaimed that the second ball went "miles and miles and miles" in the lunar gravity, but later estimated it actually went 200 to 400 yards (200 to 400 m). Mitchell then used a lunar scoop handle as a javelin, creating the first 'Lunar Olympics'.
  • Mitchell conducted some unauthorized extra-sensory perception experiments while en route to the Moon, with friends back on Earth; the number of matches were reportedly less than would have been obtained by random chance.
  • Shepherd's moonwalking suit was the first to incorporate red bands on the arms and legs, and a red stripe on the top of the lunar EVA sunshade "hood," as to allow easy identification of the commander while on the surface; on the Apollo 12 pictures, it had been almost impossible to distinguish between the two crewmen, causing a great deal of confusion. This feature was on James Lovell's Apollo 13 suit, but because of the accident, this was not used. It was used on the remaining three Apollo flights and is used on both the U.S. and Russian spacesuits on both the Space Shuttle and International Space Station.

The mission's command module Kitty Hawk is displayed at the Astronaut Hall of Fame, Titusville, Florida and the lunar module Antares impacted the Moon 7 February, 1971 at 3.42 S, 19.67 W.


"It's been a long way, but we're here." Alan B. Shepard, Jr.

"I think you're all finks." Edgar B. Mitchell. (said in response to Cmdr. Shepard's suggestion to turn back during their second EVA, where they came within 65 feet (21 m) of the rim of the 1,000­ foot (300 m) wide Cone Crater that they were looking for)



See also

  • Moon trees, taken from seeds brought to the Moon on Apollo 14.

External links


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