APOLLO 14 - FRA MAURO
Launch Date: 1971-01-31
Launch Vehicle: Saturn 5
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 29229.0 kg
Number in parentheses indicates number of spaceflights by each individual prior to and including this mission.
Alan B. Shepard, Jr (2) - Commander
Stuart A. Roosa (1) - Command Module Pilot
Edgar D. Mitchell (1) - Lunar Module Pilot
Apollo 14 was the third mission in which humans walked on the lunar surface and returned to Earth. On 5 February 1971 two astronauts (Apollo 14 Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr. and LM pilot Edgar D. Mitchell) landed near Fra Mauro crater on the Moon in the Lunar Module (LM) while the Command and Service Module (CSM) (with CM pilot Stuart A. Roosa) continued in lunar orbit. During their stay on the Moon, the astronauts set up scientific experiments, took photographs, and collected lunar samples. The LM took off from the Moon on 6 February and the astronauts returned to Earth on 9 February.
After a delay of 40 minutes, 2 seconds due to clouds and rain, Apollo 14 was launched into Earth parking orbit on 31 January 1971 at 21:03:02 UT (4:03:02 p.m. EST) from pad 39A of Kennedy Space Center on Saturn V SA-509. Earth orbit insertion occurred at 21:14:51 UT followed by translunar injection at 23:37:34. An early first mid-course correction was made to make up for the launch delay so the spacecraft would arrive at the Moon on schedule. The CSM separated from the S-IVB stage containing the LM at 00:05:31 UT on 1 February. Five attempts were made to dock the CSM and the LM, all unsuccessful because the catches on the docking ring did not release. The sixth attempt, at 02:00:02 UT, was successful and no further problems with the docking mechanism occurred. The S-IVB stage was released into a lunar impact trajectory. (It impacted the lunar surface on 4 February at 07:40:55.4 UT at 8.09 S, 26.02 W with a velocity of 2.54 km/s at a 69 degree angle from the horizontal.) A second mid-course correction was made on 2 February and a third on 4 February. Lunar orbit insertion occurred at 06:59:43 UT on 4 February.
The LM, with Shepard and Mitchell aboard, separated from the CSM, piloted by Roosa, at 04:50:44 UT on 5 February and landed at 09:18:11 UT in the hilly upland region 24 km north of the rim of Fra Mauro crater at 3.6 S, 17.5 W. The astronauts made two moonwalk EVA's totaling 9 hours, 23 minutes, one on 5 February and one on 6 February, during which the Apollo lunar surface experiments package (ALSEP) was placed on the surface of the moon, 42.28 kg of lunar samples were acquired, and photographs were taken. At the end of the second EVA Shepard hit two golf balls. Experiments were also performed from the CSM in equatorial orbit.
The LM lifted off from the Moon at 18:48:42 UT on 6 February after 33 hours, 31 minutes on the lunar surface. After the LM docked with the CSM at 20:35:53 UT the lunar samples and other equipment were transferred from the LM and the LM was jettisoned at 22:48:00 UT. It impacted the Moon on 8 February 00:45:25.7 UT at 3.42 S, 19.67 W. Transearth injection began at 01:39:04 UT on 7 February. One small mid-course correction was made on 8 February during transearth coast. The CM separated from the SM at 20:35:44 UT on 9 February. Apollo 14 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on 9 February 1971 at 21:05:00 UT (4:05:00 p.m. EST) after a mission elapsed time of 216 hrs, 1 min, 58 secs. The splashdown point was 27 deg 1 min S, 172 deg 39 min W, 765 nautical miles south of American Samoa. The astronauts and capsule were picked up by the recovery ship USS New Orleans. This was the last Apollo mission in which the astronauts were put in quaratine after their return.
Performance of the spacecraft, the third of the Apollo H-series missions, was good for most aspects of the mission. The primary mission goals of deployment of the ALSEP and other scientific experiments, collection of lunar samples, surface photography, and photography, radio science and other scientific experiments from orbit were achieved with the exception of the full coverage planned for the Hycon camera. Shepard, 47, was a Navy captain on his second spaceflight (he'd flown previously as the first American in space on Mercury Redstone 3), Roosa, 37, was an Air Force major on his first spaceflight, and Mitchell, 40, was a Navy commander also on his first spaceflight. The backup crew for this mission was Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Joe Engle. The Apollo 14 command module "Kitty Hawk" is currently on display at the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville, Florida.
Spacecraft and Subsystems
As the name implies, the Command and Service Module (CSM) was comprised of two distinct units: the Command Module (CM), which housed the crew, spacecraft operations systems, and re-entry equipment, and the Service Module (SM) which carried most of the consumables (oxygen, water, helium, fuel cells, and fuel) and the main propulsion system. The total length of the two modules attached was 11.0 meters with a maximum diameter of 3.9 meters. Block II CSM's were used for all the crewed Apollo missions. The Apollo 14 CSM mass of 29,229 kg was the launch mass including propellants and expendables, of this the Command Module (CM-110) had a mass of 5758 kg and the Service Module (SM-110) 23,471 kg.
Telecommunications included voice, television, data, and tracking and ranging subsystems for communications between astronauts, CM, LM, and Earth. Voice contact was provided by an S-band uplink and downlink system. Tracking was done through a unified S-band transponder. A high gain steerable S-band antenna consisting of four 79-cm diameter parabolic dishes was mounted on a folding boom at the aft end of the SM. Two VHF scimitar antennas were also mounted on the SM. There was also a VHF recovery beacon mounted in the CM. The CSM environmental control system regulated cabin atmosphere, pressure, temperature, carbon dioxide, odors, particles, and ventilation and controlled the temperature range of the electronic equipment.
The CM was a conical pressure vessel with a maximum diameter of 3.9 m at its base and a height of 3.65 m. It was made of an aluminum honeycomb sandwhich bonded between sheet aluminum alloy. The base of the CM consisted of a heat shield made of brazed stainless steel honeycomb filled with a phenolic epoxy resin as an ablative material and varied in thickness from 1.8 to 6.9 cm. At the tip of the cone was a hatch and docking assembly designed to mate with the lunar module. The CM was divided into three compartments. The forward compartment in the nose of the cone held the three 25.4 m diameter main parachutes, two 5 m drogue parachutes, and pilot mortar chutes for Earth landing. The aft compartment was situated around the base of the CM and contained propellant tanks, reaction control engines, wiring, and plumbing. The crew compartment comprised most of the volume of the CM, approximately 6.17 cubic meters of space. Three astronaut couches were lined up facing forward in the center of the compartment. A large access hatch was situated above the center couch. A short access tunnel led to the docking hatch in the CM nose. The crew compartment held the controls, displays, navigation equipment and other systems used by the astronauts. The CM had five windows: one in the access hatch, one next to each astronaut in the two outer seats, and two forward-facing rendezvous windows. Five silver/zinc-oxide batteries provided power after the CM and SM detached, three for re-entry and after landing and two for vehicle separation and parachute deployment. The CM had twelve 420 N nitrogen tetroxide/hydrazine reaction control thrusters. The CM provided the re-entry capability at the end of the mission after separation from the Service Module.
The SM was a cylinder 3.9 meters in diameter and 7.6 m long which was attached to the back of the CM. The outer skin of the SM was formed of 2.5 cm thick aluminum honeycomb panels. The interior was divided by milled aluminum radial beams into six sections around a central cylinder. At the back of the SM mounted in the central cylinder was a gimbal mounted re-startable hypergolic liquid propellant 91,000 N engine and cone shaped engine nozzle. Attitude control was provided by four identical banks of four 450 N reaction control thrusters each spaced 90 degrees apart around the forward part of the SM. The six sections of the SM held three 31-cell hydrogen oxygen fuel cells which provided 28 volts, an auxiliary battery, three cryogenic oxygen tanks (the battery and an extra oxygen tank were added after the Apollo 13 mishap as backups), two cryogenic hydrogen tanks, four tanks for the main propulsion engine, two for fuel and two for oxidizer, and the subsystems the main propulsion unit. Two helium tanks were mounted in the central cylinder. Electrical power system radiators were at the top of the cylinder and environmental control radiator panels spaced around the bottom.
FOOTNOTES - Apollo 14 marked the return of Alan Shepard - the first American to fly in Space. During the mission, the crew propagated hundreds of tree seeds, and these trees are now planted around the US. This was the last Apollo mission where engineering was the prime objective. Subsequent Landings had geology and Space Sciences as their main goals.