Slice of History - 50th Anniversary of Apollo 16
Not long after blastoff from Cape Kennedy on 16 April, Apollo 16 astronauts encountered what would be their first of many problems – shreds of paint peeling off the lunar lander. Fears of flawed systems, calling off the landing, inoperative radar, and a gimbal lock warning never stopped the astronauts guiding Apollo 16 to a safe lunar landing, making this the fifth American flag implanted on the Moon.
This photo, taken 1972-06-27, shows Dr. Pickering explaining JPL’s giant Mariner 9 photo-mosaic of Mars to Apollo 16 astronauts (left to right) John W. Young, Thomas K. Mattingly, and Charles M. Duke. This month, we celebrate 50 years of these astronauts’ brave and tumultuous flight.
According to the July/August 1972 edition of Lab-Oratory, “In addition to several JPL science facilities, the visiting astronauts and wives toured deep space navigation areas and the Space Flight Operations Facility [SFOF]. After lunch in the executive patio, the distinguished visitors met and talked with employees on JPL’s central mall.” CL#22-0027