Lunar and Planetary Institute






Apollo 14 Mission


Mission Photography

Apollo 14 Mission Control PhotoBoth the surface and orbital photography of the mission served not only to document the third lunar landing and the extravehicular activities of the astronauts, but also to identify scientific areas and experiments for study on future missions. The photographic equipment and materials carried by Apollo 14 were designed specifically to (1) photograph candidate exploration sites for potential Apollo landings; (2) obtain vertical mapping stereo strips of regions of scientific interest and future landing sites; (3) obtain photographs of the Lunar Module and lunar surface activities after LM landing; (4) record mission operational activities; (5) obtain photographed information to document the geologic samples; (6) photograph gegenschein and zodiacal light astronomical phenomena; and (7) acquire photographic supporting data for four orbits of Hasselblad photography and all of the Hycon Lunar Topographic Camera (LTC) photography.

The Camera Equipment

The Camera EquipmentApollo 14 carried a number of cameras for collecting data and recording various aspects of the mission. Two 70-millimeter still cameras with multiple lenses, one 16-millimeter camera with four lenses, and the Lunar Topographic camera were carried on the command module. The landing module carried two 70-millimeter cameras with 60-millimeter lenses, two 16-millimeter cameras (one with a 10-millimeter lens and one with a 5-millimeter lens), and the 35-millimeter lunar surface close-up stereoscopic camera.

70-mm still (Hassalblad EL Camera)70-millimeter stills Hasselblad EL Camera. This camera, which was carried aboard the command module, featured a motor-driven mechanism, powered by two sealed nickel-cadmium batteries, that advanced the film and cocked the shutter whenever the camera was activated.

70-millimeter stills Hasselblad Data Camera. The three electronically powered Hasselblad data cameras that were carried on the mission featured semiautomatic operation. Two 60-millimeter-lens Hasselblad cameras were carried on the LM, and an 80-millimeter camera was carried on the CM. The operating sequence was initiated by squeezing a trigger mounted on the camera handle. A 1-centimeter reseau grid was set in front of the 60-millimeter lens image plane to provide photogrammetric information in the analysis of the photography. The LM cameras were bracket-mounted on the front of the LM astronauts' EVA suits.

16-millimeter movies (Maurer Camera)16-millimeter Maurer Data Acquisition Camera (DAC). Apollo 14 carried three Maurer Data Acquisition Cameras (DAC), one in the CM and two in the LM. The cameras were used for recording engineering data, continuous-sequence terrain photography, and lunar surface photography. The CM camera had lenses of 5-millimeter, 10-millimeter, 18-millimeter, and 75-millimeter focal lengths. One of the LM cameras was fitted with a 10-millimeter wide-angle lens, and one contained a battery power pack using a 5-millimeter lens. Accessories included a right-angled mirror, a power cable, a sextant adapter, and a CM boresight window bracket. The Mauer cameras weighed 2.8 pounds each, with a 140-foot film magazine attached. They had frame rates of 1, 6, and 12 frames per second automatic and 24 frames per second semiautomatic at all lens focal lengths, and shutter speeds of 1/60, 1/125, 1/500, and 1/1000 seconds, also at all lens focal lengths.

35-millimeter Lunar Surface Closeup Stereoscopic Camera. This camera, which was carried on the LM Modular Equipment Storage Assembly (MESA), was designed for the highest possible resolution for a stereo pair area with a flash illumination and fixed distance. Photography was accomplished by holding the camera on a walking stick against the object to be photographed. The camera was powered by four nickel-cadmium batteries that operated the motor-drive mechanism and an electronic flash strobe light.

Hycon Lunar Topographic Camera.This electrically operated camera, which was carried aboard the CM, was a modified KA-7A Aerial Reconnaissance Camera, which, when used, was mounted in the crew access hatch window. A remote control box and interconnecting cable provided automatic mode or strip photography or manual mode for single frames. Variable Forward Motion Compensation (FMC) allowed for the spacecraft orbit motion. For each frame exposed, a small clock showing the day and time was simultaneously exposed to the side of the frame. This photography was intended to support the objective of obtaining high-resolution photography of future landing sites and areas of scientific interest. A camera malfunction partway into the mission caused the shutter to operate continually. This resulted from a transistor failure caused by a sliver of aluminum that became lodged and shorted the system on the shutter pulse switching circuit. Also, the lack of a continuous pulse, which activated the focal plane shutter, caused an intervalometer anomaly resulting in multiple exposure of the same scene. In addition, this same region of the film was overexposed approximately two stops.

Orbital Photography

Photographs taken from lunar orbit provide synoptic views for the study of regional lunar geology.

Photographs taken from lunar orbit provide synoptic views for the study of regional lunar geology. The photographs were used for lunar mapping and geodetic studies, and they were valuable in training the astronauts for future lunar mission.

Earthrise photographed as the lunar module reacquired communications with Earth one revolution before landing at Fra Mauro. Earthrise photographed as the lunar module reacquired communications with Earth one revolution before landing at Fra Mauro. Pastiur Crater, in the foreground, is centered near latitude 12°S, longitude 105°E in rugged terrain just beyond the eastern limb of the Moon as viewed from Earth.
   
Near-vertical photograph looking eastward across the candidate landing site in the highlands north of Descartes Crater. Near-vertical photograph looking eastward across the candidate landing site in the highlands north of Descartes Crater. This photograph is part of the site evaluation imagery taken with the Hasselblad El camera equipped with a 500-millimeter lens.
   
Oblique view westward across Lansberg Crater taken during revolution 26 with the Hasselblad DC camera equipped with an 80-millimeter lens. Oblique view westward across Lansberg Crater taken during revolution 26 with the Hasselblad DC camera equipped with an 80-millimeter lens. The low-angle illumination near the terminator emphasizes gentle relief features. A sinuous channel across the smooth mare deposits at the lower left is evident.
   
High-altitude photograph of the Moon after trans-Earth injection. Selenographic north is approximately along the diagonal toward the upper left. High-altitude photograph of the Moon after trans-Earth injection. Selenographic north is approximately along the diagonal toward the upper left. Langrenus Crater, photographed by the Apollo 8 crew, is the larger crater with slumped walls on the margin of Mare Fecunditatis, the larger of several lunar maria visible in this photograph.

Lunar Surface Photography

Photograph of lunar surface

Four hundred and seventeen photographs were taken on the lunar surface with the Hasselblad Electric Data camera during the Apollo 14 mission. Many of these photographs were used to document surface activities. Fifteen panoramas, consisting of 275 photographs, were taken for major station location and general geologic documentation. Forty-nine pictures were taken for sample documentation, and 27 pictures were taken to document ALSEP deployment, and 17 stereoscopic surface photographs were taken with the Close-up Stereoscopic Surface Camera. The remaining pictures were of miscellaneous targets of opportunity.

Surface Activities. The 33.5 hour stay on the lunar surface accommodated two extravehicular activity (EVA) periods for a total lunar-surface stay time in excess of 17 man hours. Photography supporting the lunar surface activities was designed to document the deployment of experiments, to augment crew observations, to expand geologic descriptions during the traverses, and to record the effects of the interaction between Apollo equipment and the lunar surface.

The samples were photographed with the close-up stereocamera to record the degradation of optical properties after the samples were covered with dust. The LMP adjusts the color-television camera near the beginning of the first EVA. The sheet near the lower left corner of the photograph contained samples of the thermal-control coatings. The samples were photographed with the close-up stereocamera to record the degradation of optical properties after the samples were covered with dust.
   
An Apollo 14 crew member (note shadow) photographs this field of boulders located on the flank of Cone Crater during the second Apollo 14 extravehicular activity (EVA-2). An Apollo 14 crew member (note shadow) photographs this field of boulders located on the flank of Cone Crater during the second Apollo 14 extravehicular activity (EVA-2). This view is looking just north of west.
   
Astronaut Edgar D Mitchell, lunar module pilot, operates the Active Sesimic Experiment's thumper during the first Apollo 14 extravehicular activity (EVA-1) on the Moon. Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., commander, walks near deployed components of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) in the background. Astronaut Edgar D Mitchell, lunar module pilot, operates the Active Sesimic Experiment's thumper during the first Apollo 14 extravehicular activity (EVA-1) on the Moon. Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., commander, walks near deployed components of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) in the background. This photograph was taken by an automatic 16-millimeter camera mounted on the Apollo lunar hand tool carrier aboard the Modularized Equipment Transporter (MET).
   
Near-vertical view of the footpad that landed on the crater-rim deposit. The less-resistant material yielded to the load imposed by the LM and deformed the crater wall. Near-vertical view of the footpad that landed on the crater-rim deposit. The less-resistant material yielded to the load imposed by the LM and deformed the crater wall. The small Mylar-covered rod to the left of the footpad is a probe that actuates the contact light on the instrument panel when the probe touches the surface.
   

Sample Documentation.The LM landed about 1100 meters west of Cone Crater, which is located on a ridge of Fra Mauro Crater. Cone Crater is a sharp-rimmed, relatively young crater that ejected blocks of material up to 15 meters across which were derived from beneath the regolith. Sampling and photography of these blocks were primary objectives of the mission. Photographic surveys taken during the Apollo 14 lunar stay were designed to record the surface characteristics of the sample areas, the retrieval of the sample, and the location of the sample at the time of collection.

This is one of the white rocks from which samples were taken by the two crewmen of the Apollo 14 lunar landing mission. A hammer and a small collection bag lie on top of a lunar boulder to give some indication of size in this view of several boulders clustered together. This is one of the white rocks from which samples were taken by the two crewmen of the Apollo 14 lunar landing mission.
   
Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, Apollo 14 lunar module pilot, whose shadow is in the foreground, photographs a group of large boulders near the rim of Cone Crater. Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, Apollo 14 lunar module pilot, whose shadow is in the foreground, photographs a group of large boulders near the rim of Cone Crater. An interesting feature is the white and brown rock in the boulder. Mitchell removed a white rock (sample 14082) from the boulder in the foreground, from a point just below the end of the hammer handle (40 centimeters long).
   
White rock sample number 14082 photographed in the Lunar Receiving Lab (LRL). White rock sample number 14082 photographed in the Lunar Receiving Lab (LRL).
   
The CDR works with the core tube and extension handle. The MET was loaded with equipment used during the geology traverse of the second EVA. The CDR works with the core tube and extension handle. The MET was loaded with equipment used during the geology traverse of the second EVA.
   
Double core tube. The double core tube sample was taken at station A during the second EVA. Double core tube. The double core tube sample was taken at station A during the second EVA. The tube was driven to a depth of 64 centimeters (1 7/8 core tube lengths) although when this photograph was taken, the depth was 13 centimeters. The LM is visible on the horizon.

Stereoscopic Closeup Surface. On the Apollo 11 and 12 missions, most of the close-up stereoscopic photographs were taken very near the LM, where the surface had been affected by the rocket exhaust of the LM during the landing. All the Apollo 14 photographs, except for the last 1 1/2 pairs, were located at some distance from the LM in areas not affected by gases from the LM descent engine. A total of 17-1/2 stereopairs of various surfaces was returned. Two stereopairs are of the track in the lunar soil left by a wheel of the modular equipment transporter (MET), or "rickshaw," that astronauts Alan B. Shepard and Edgar D. Mitchell used on their traverses to carry all their tools and equipment; three stereopairs are of astronaut bootprints in the lunar soil; seven stereopairs are of samples of thermal coatings taken in support of the thermal degradation samples experiment; two stereopairs are of undisturbed lunar soil exhibiting a "raindrop" texture; and the remaining 3 1/2 pairs are of the surfaces of rocks that are partially obscured by lunar soil. This photography is the first close look at undisturbed lunar regolith surfaces. Close-up photography from the Apollo 11 and 12 lunar landing sites was taken in areas disturbed by LM engine exhaust.

Stereoscopic view of irregular lunar soil surface The MET has two smooth, nitrogen-filled rubber tires. A certain amount of pressure is applied to the lunar surface when the MET is loaded. The fine line along the middle of the track was formed by the tire mold mark. The crew reported that the depth of the tracks varied from 1 to 2 centimeters, which is consistent with the applied loads.
   
This photography is excellent documentation of the A "raindrop" pattern in undisturbed lunar soil. The "raindrop" patterns noticed by the astronauts are pits formed by the impact of micrometeorites into the lunar soil. This photography is excellent documentation of the "raindrop" effect.
   
One of the three stereoscopic pairs showing astronaut bootprints in the lunar soil. One of the three stereoscopic pairs showing astronaut bootprints in the lunar soil. Standing on one foot, the astronaut applies a pressure on the lunar surface. This pressure generally results in a sinkage of about 2 centimeters, except on the rims of small, fresh craters, where bootprints up to 10 centimeters deep have been observed.

Summary

Mission photography was accomplished from the Apollo 14 CM, which spent 67 hours in orbit both during DOI for high-resolution mapping photography and during its circular orbit for routine scientific photography; from the LM, which successfully landed in the hilly upland region 15 miles south of the rim of Fra Mauro Crater; and by the Apollo 14 astronauts during extravehicular activities (EVA) on the lunar surface.

The Apollo 14 crew returned 1328 frames of 70-millimeter photography and 15 exposed magazines of 16-millimeter film. The lunar topographic camera (LTC) malfunctioned and only 193 usable photographs were recovered from the two rolls of 5-inch film. A total of 17 stereopairs of lunar surface rocks and soil was taken on the Apollo 14 mission. The close-up stereopairs will enable further study by those interested in lunar soil formation, impact phenomena, and soil mechanics. The orbital photographic and scientific experiments conducted by the command module pilot simultaneously with the surface exploration included the gegenschein photography and bootstrap photography using the Hycon and Hasselblad cameras. The bootstrap photography was accomplished using the 70-millimeter Hasselblad camera with a 500-millimeter lens after the failure of the Hycon lunar topographic camera. By using the crewman-optical-alignment-sight maneuver to hold the camera on target, some good stereo photographs of the Descartes landing area were obtained. Three passes were made over the Descartes area to obtain stereo strips covering the region.

Apollo Image Atlas