Planets and Moons  ID: 4767

The Apollo 12 Landing Site

Apollo 12 landed on the Moon a little before 1:00 a.m. Houston time on November 19, 1969, four months after Apollo 11. The Lunar Module, nicknamed Intrepid and flown by Charles "Pete" Conrad and Alan Bean, made a pinpoint landing just 160 meters (520 feet) from the Surveyor 3 probe that had landed two and a half years earlier. On their second EVA, the astronauts retrieved pieces of Surveyor so that engineers could study the effects of years spent on the lunar surface. The Surveyor camera is currently on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

In images of the landing site taken more than four decades later by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a number of artifacts are clearly visible. These include

  • the descent stage of the Lunar Module
  • the PLSS backpacks, discarded at the foot of the LM ladder
  • the inverted-umbrella shape of the S-band antenna
  • the shadow of the American flag
  • the components of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP)
  • the Surveyor 3 spacecraft
  • the trails of astronaut bootprints

This visualization uses LROC NAC image M175428601 (40 cm per pixel) and a digital terrain model derived from NAC stereo image pairs (2 meters per pixel) to fly over the Apollo 12 landing site. Because the LM in the NAC image looks oddly flat when viewed at an oblique angle, a 3D model of the descent stage was added.


Visualization Credits

Ernie Wright (USRA): Lead Visualizer
David Ladd (USRA): Producer
David Ladd (USRA): Video Editor
Noah Petro (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter)

Data Used:
LRO/LROC/Narrow Angle Camera also referred to as: NAC
2011-11-08 21:55:34
Model - 2011-11-17
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.

This item is part of this series:
The Moon

SVS >> Landing Site
SVS >> Lunar
SVS >> Moon
SVS >> Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
SVS >> Apollo Missions
SVS >> Lunar Topography
SVS >> Lunar Elevation Map
SVS >> Solar System >> Moon >> Lunar Surface
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons