Lunar and Planetary Institute

Apollo 12 Mission

Science Experiments

Extracting nuclear fuel from its transport container for insertion into the Radioisotope Thermal Generator (RTG). The RTG is at the astronaut's foot. The Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP) deployed.

In addition to their geologic studies, the Apollo 12 crew performed several experiments on the lunar surface. The results of some of these experiments were either radioed to Earth by the crew or returned to Earth for laboratory analysis.

Other experiments were deployed by the crew and then monitored from Earth by radio telemetry after the crew departed. This group of experiments was termed the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP). Each experiment was connected by a cable to the ALSEP central station, which provide radio communication to Earth and electrical power from a radioisotope thermal generator. Some of these experiments continued to return data until September 1977, when the entire ALSEP network was turned off due to lack of funding for the ground support team.

Apollo 12 Dataset Descriptions
The National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) provides data and information on Apollo experiments upon request to individuals or organizations resident in the United States. The same services are available to scientists outside the United States through the World Data Center A for Rockets and Satellites. Normally, a charge is made for the requested data to cover the cost of reproduction and the processing of the request.

Catalog of Apollo Experiment Operations
This Johnson Space Center site catalogs each experiment and equipment item deployed or operated on the lunar surface during the Apollo program. It summarizes some of the general problems encountered with these experiments and provides guidelines for the design of future lunar surface experiments.