Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tonight's Sky for August 7: Apollo 15 Returns to Earth (1971)

It was on this date that Apollo 15, the 4th successful mission to the Moon, returned to Earth. While Moon missions may have become somewhat seen as routine by this time, Apollo 15 marked a shift in the focus for lunar exploration as this was the first of the 'J' missions, which were focused on science and long-term visits rather than as exploration with science as a side note. Apollo 15 was also notable in that it was the first Apollo mission to use a lunar rover. In all, the astronauts spent nearly 3 days on the Moon with over 18 hours of exploration on the lunar surface itself spread over 3 Moonwalks.

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