Apollo 16 Lands in the Lunar Highlands

  • Released Monday, April 18th, 2022
  • Updated Friday, August 25th, 2023 at 12:15AM
  • ID: 4989

The camera flies from the east to the Apollo 16 landing site, then flies north to North Ray crater. Includes an introductory slate, astronaut audio, and music.

Music provided by Universal Production Music: The Orion Arm – Christian Telford, David Travis Edwards, Matthew St Laurent, and Robert Anthony Navarro.

Watch this video on the NASA Goddard YouTube channel.

Apollo 16 landed on the Moon at 8:23 p.m. Houston time on April 20, 1972 (April 21 at 2:23 UTC). Their site north of Descartes crater was the only Apollo site in purely highlands terrain, where the surface is older, lighter in color, and more heavily cratered, in contrast to the darker basalts of the maria. Commander John Young and Lunar Module Pilot Charlie Duke explored the surface in their lunar rover, traveling a total of 16.7 miles (26.9 km) and collecting 211 pounds (95.7 kg) of samples, while Command Module Pilot Thomas K. Mattingly performed experiments from orbit.

For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 16 mission, the video presented here uses elevation maps and images from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to visualize the area around the landing site and the routes taken by the astronauts over three days of extravehicular activities (EVAs). The video begins with the camera flying west over the terrain the astronauts saw as they came in for a landing, and it ends with a dramatic view of North Ray crater, the destination of their EVA on Day 3.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

LRO LROC WAC (Collected with the Wide Angle Camera sensor)
Observed Data
LRO/SELENE SLDEM2015 (A.K.A. DIgital Elevation Model) (Collected with the LOLA/TC sensor)

A digital elevation model of the Moon derived from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and the SELENE Terrain Camera. See the description in Icarus. The data is here.

See more visualizations using this data set
LRO NAC (A.K.A. Narrow Angle Camera) (Collected with the LROC sensor)
LRO Stereo DEM (Collected with the LROC NAC sensor)

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.