NASA Manned Spacecraft Center Roundup - November 5, 1971
Apollo 16 Astronauts John W. Young, Thomas K. Mattingly
II, and Charles M. Duke are set for liftoff from Kennedy Space Center at
12 03 p.m. CST March 17, 1972, with the objective of increasing man's knowledge
of his solar system by studying the evolutionary records preserved on the
Moon. Such records on Earth were long ago destroyed by natural events.
The astronauts are tentatively scheduled to begin the
first of their three scientific expeditions on the Moon at about 8:18 p.m.
CST, March 21, four hours after touching down at the Descartes landing
Exploration of the Descartes area will complement data
gathered from earlier Apollo missions by sampling from two distinctive
lunar formations, by placing another scientific experiment station on the
lunar surface, and by conducting a series of experiements from lunar orbit
and during translunar and transearth flight. This will be the fifth U.S.
manned lunar landing.
The second and third lunar surface expeditions are tentatively
planned to begin at about 6:48 p.m. and 6:13 p.m. CST on March 22 and 23,
respectively. Astronauts Young and Duke will ride the lunar roving vehicle
on all three of the seven-hour trips. The lunar module is scheduled for
lunar liftoff at 5:35 p.m. CST, March 24, after 73 hours on the Moon.
Scientific experiments in the Apollo command-service modules
will be operated by Astronaut Mattingly during much of the 147 and one-half
hours of lunar orbital flight.
Mattingly will maneuver outside the Apollo spacecraft
to retrieve films from the service module experiment bay at about 3:33
p.m. CST, March 27, some 20 hours after beginning the return flight to
The planned splashdown point is about 9° South Latitude
and 169.5° West Longitude in the Pacific Ocean at 3:14 p.m. CST, March
29. Total mission duration is 291 hours and 11 minutes.
The Descartes landing site is about 9 degrees south and
15.5 degrees east of the center of the Moon as viewed from Earth.
Spacecraft Commander is Navy Captain Young, who completed
two Gemini and the Apollo 10 missions prior to this assignment. Command
Module Pilot is Lieutenant Commander Mattingly and Lunar Module Pilot is
Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Duke. Neither Mattingly nor Duke have flown
in space before.