Lunar and Planetary Institute

Apollo 12 Mission

Mission Overview

Mission Plan
The mission plan for Apollo 12, the second lunar landing mission, had several objectives for the crew to accomplish: perform a survey of the area and collect samples; deploy a number of experiments; develop techniques for point landing capability; further develop the capability to work in the lunar environment; and obtain photographs of candidate exploration sites.

Mission Event List and Timeline

Launch November 14 11:22:00 am 00:00:00
Translunar injection 2:15:14 pm 02:53:14
CSM-LM docking 2:48:53 pm 03:26:53
Lunar orbit insertion November 17 10:47:23 pm 83:25:23
CSM-LM separation November 18 11:16:03 pm 107:54:03
Lunar landing November 19 1:54:35 am 110:32:35
First EVA 6:32:35 am 115:10:35
Second EVA 10:54:45 pm 131:32:45
Lunar liftoff November 20 9:25:47 am 142:03:47
LM-CSM docking 12:58:22 pm 145:30:22
Transearth injection November 21 3:49:16 pm 172:27:16
Splashdown November 24 3:58:24 pm 244:36:24

Apollo 12 launchLaunch
The huge, 363-foot tall Apollo 12 (Spacecraft 108/Lunar Module 6/Saturn 507) space vehicle was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, at 11:22 a.m., November 14, 1969. Activities during Earth-orbit checkout were normal except for the special attention given to checking all spacecraft systems for any damage due to lightning strikes on the vehicle during the launch.





Command Service Module Yankee Clipper The Yankee Clipper consisted of two parts. The command module (CM), 3.63 meters long and shaped like a blunt cone, was at the front or top. Furnished with couches, it served as the crew compartment and control center. Able to accommodate all three astronauts, the CM was also used for reentry. The service module (SM), a 6.88-meter-long cylinder, was at the rear of the CM. It provided the primary propulsion and maneuvering capability of the spacecraft. Most of the consumables (oxygen, hydrogen, propellant) were also stored in this module, which was jettisoned before reentry.
Lunar Module Intrepid The lunar module (LM) also had two parts, the descent stage and the ascent stage. The descent stage, or lower part, of the LM, contained the engine used for landing on the Moon. This stage was a cruciform structure of aluminum alloy 3.23 meters high, and with its four legs extended had a maximum diameter of 9.45 meters. This stage also contained storage bays for equipment, and a ladder attached to one of the legs gave the crew access to the surface. When the time came to leave the surface, the descent stage served as the launch platform for the ascent stage. The ascent stage was basically a cylindrical aluminum structure 4.29 meters in diameter and 3.75 meters in height. During their time on the surface, the crew lived in and operated from this part of the spacecraft. It was also used to return the crew to orbit and the CSM after surface operations were completed.


Charles Conrad Jr., Mission Commander
, was born on June 2, 1930, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received a B.S. in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University in 1953. Chosen with the second group of astronauts in 1962, he was the pilot of Gemini 5, backup command pilot for Gemini 8, command pilot for Gemini 11, and backup commander for Apollo 9. As Mission Commander on Apollo 12, he became the third man to walk on the Moon. Later he was the commander of Skylab 2. He resigned from NASA and the Navy (were he held the rank of captain) on February 1, 1974.
Charles Conrad Jr., Mission Commander
Richard F. Gordon, Command Module Pilot, was born on October 5, 1929, in Seattle, Washington. He received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Washington in 1951. Gordon came to NASA from the Navy, in the third group of astronauts chosen in 1963. He was the backup pilot on Gemini 8, the pilot for Gemini 11, and back-up command module pilot for Apollo 9. He was also the backup commander for Apollo 15 before retiring from NASA and the Navy on January 1, 1972. Richard F. Gordon, Command Module Pilot
Alan L. Bean, Lunar Module Pilot,was born on March 15, 1932, in Wheeler, Texas. He received a B.S. in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955. He was chosen in the third group of astronauts in 1963, and was backup command pilot for Gemini 10 and backup lunar module pilot on Apollo 9. He was the fourth man to walk on the Moon. Later he was the commander for Skylab 3 and backup commander for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. He retired from NASA on June 26, 1981. Alan L. Bean, Lunar Module Pilot

The Back-up Crew
The following astronauts were the back-up crew for Apollo 12: David R. Scott (pilot of Gemini 8 and command module pilot on Apollo 9) was backup commander, Alfred M. Worden was the backup command module pilot, and James B. Erwin was the backup lunar module pilot.