Lunar and Planetary Institute

Apollo 14 Mission

Mission Overview

Mission Plan
The Apollo 14 mission was the fourteenth in a series using Apollo flight hardware and achieved the third lunar landing. The objectives of the mission were to investigate the lunar surface near a preselected point in the Fra Mauro formation, deploy and activate an Apollo lunar surface experiments package, further develop the ability to work in the lunar environment, and obtain photographs of candidate exploration sites.

Mission Event List and Timeline

Launch       January 31    04:03:02 pm 00:00:00
Translunar injection       06:37:34 pm 02:34:32
CSM-LM docking       09:00:02 pm 04:56:56
Lunar orbit insertion       February 4    01:59:43 am 81:56:41
CSM-LM separation       11:50:44 pm 103:47:42
Lunar landing       February 5    04:18:11 am 108:15:09
First EVA       09:42:13 am 113:39:11
Second EVA       February 6    03:11:15 am 131:08:13
Lunar liftoff       01:48:42 pm 141:45:40
LM-CSM docking       03:35:53 pm 143:32:51
Transearth injection       08:39:04 pm 148:36:02
Splashdown       February 9    04:05:00 pm 216:01:58


Apollo 14 launchLaunch
Fish-eye view of the launch of the 363-foot-tall Apollo 14 (Spacecraft No. 110/Lunar Module No. 8/Saturn No. 509) space vehicle from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 4:03:02 p.m., January 31, 1971. Because of unsatisfactory weather conditions, the launch was delayed about 40 minutes, for the first time in the Apollo program. This view of the liftoff was taken by a camera mounted on the mobile launch tower.



As a result of the problems on Apollo 13 and to support more extensive extravehicular operations, changes made to this mission were more numerous than for previous missions. In addition to the many changes to the CSM to prevent a repeat of the accident, the following changes were made to the LM: Support structures were added to the descent stage for attachment of the laser ranging retroreflector and the lunar portable magnetometer and a modular equipment transporter (see below) was added to the Modular Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA).

The Command Service Module Kitty Hawk The Kitty Hawk consisted of two parts. The Command Module (CM), 3.63 meters long and shaped like a blunt cone, was at the front or top. Equipped 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 jetisoned before reentry.
The Lunar Module Antares 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 tall. 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.
The Modular Equipment Transporter A prototype of the Modular Equipment Transporter (MET), nicknamed the "Rickshaw" because of its shape and method of propulsion. This equipment was used by the Apollo 14 astronauts during their geological and lunar surface simulation training in the Pinacate volcano area of northwestern Sonora, Mexico. The Apollo 14 crew was the first to use the MET. It was a portable workbench with a place for the lunar handtools and their carrier, three cameras, two sample container bags, a Special Environmental Sample Container, spare film magazines, and a Lunar Surface Penetrometer.


Alan B. Shepard Jr., Mission Commander,
was born on November 18, 1923, in East Derry, New Hampshire. He received a B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1944. He was chosen with the first group of astronauts in 1959 and became America's first man in space as the pilot of the Mercury 3 mission, Freedom 7. He was back-up pilot for Mercury 9 and then was grounded due to an inner ear ailment until May 7, 1969. He was commander of the Apollo 14 mission and the fifth man to walk on the Moon. In June 1971 he resumed duties as Chief of the Astronaut Office, the position he had held while grounded. He retired from NASA and the Navy August 1, 1974.
Alan B. Shepard Jr., Mission Commander
Stuart A. Roosa, Command Module Pilot, was born on August 15, 1933, in Durango, Colorado. He received a B.S. in aeronautical engineering from the Universtiy of Colorado in 1960. He was chosen with the fifth group of astronauts in 1966. He was the back-up command module pilot for Apollo 14 and 16. He resigned from NASA on February 1, 1976. Stuart A. Roosa, Command Module Pilot
Edgar D. Mitchell, Lunar Module Pilot, was born on September 14, 1930, in Hereford, Texas. He received a B.S. in Industrial Management from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1952. He also received a B.S. in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1961 and a D.S. in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964. He was chosen with the fifth group of astronauts in 1966, and was back-up lunar module pilot for Apollo 10 and Apollo 16. He was the sixth man to walk on the Moon. He retired from the Navy and NASA in October 1972. Edgar D. Mitchell, Lunar Module Pilot

The Back-up Crew
The back-up crew members for Apollo 14 were Eugene A. Cernan (pilot on Gemini 9, back-up pilot for Gemini 12, back-up LM pilot for Apollo 7, and LM pilot for Apollo 10), back-up commander, Ronald E. Evans, back-up command module pilot, and Joe H. Engle, back-up lunar module pilot.